More than 60% who try a cigarette become daily smokers, study says

More than 60% who try a cigarette become daily smokers, study says

But the good news is that fewer teenagers today are experimenting with cigarettes in the first place, researchers said.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary, said: "This is the first time that the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented from such a large set of data".

Research gathered from 215,000 survey participants in the USA, U.K, Australia and New Zealand showed 60.3 percent of people had tried smoking cigarettes, and of those who tried it, an estimated 68.9 percent picked up a daily habit. The studies include three studies from the United Kingdom, three from the U.S., one from Australia and one from New Zealand.

The surveys looked at asked more than 215,000 people about their smoking history, and found somewhere between 61 and 77 percent of people who try a cigarette go on to become regular smokers, at least temporarily.

And among those who did, 69 per cent progressed to daily smoking.

Almost three million are now using e-cigarettes in a bid to quit, according to the Office for National Statistics. In 2010 nearly 20% of people smoke in the United Kingdom, and in 2017 that number shrunk to 19.3%.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, said that this means there should be tighter government regulations on tobacco sales. But while on one side public and retailers are supporting the introduction of licensing for tobacco, on the other side the government refusing to introduce this.

Though it's not all bad news, more people seem to be quitting now than ever before, while the number of those taking up the filthy habit has also decreased.

While it is natural to see some variation between surveys, it is interesting to note that United Kingdom respondents were consistently more likely to say they developed a habit compared to those from the other three countries.

Phillip Morris, whose tobacco roots go back to a 19th century London tobacconist's shop, aims to launch a website to provide smokers with information on quitting and alternatives to the cancer stick.

"Fortunately, in the United Kingdom, youth smoking rates continue to decline - but we shouldn't be complacent".

In the United Kingdom, the ream recorded significant reduction in smoking.