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"[This shows] prevention, providing [fewer] opportunities or reasons for young people to try a cigarette, is a good idea", said Peter Hajek, co-author of the research, from Queen Mary University of London.

The study which comes forward most recently is based on the data collected from UK, US, Australia and New Zealand in which around 60.3% people had tried smoking from which 68.9% contributed to the number of daily smokers afterwards.

"In the development of any addictive behavior, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need", he said in a statement. Data from eight surveys with information on more than 215,000 people were included.

They revealed 17.7% of men are current smokers compared with 14.1% of women, with men smoking an average 12 cigarettes daily and women 11 per day.

It is like getting influencing from those who had made cigarette smoking a habit for them. In the United States, 52 per cent of the subjects of the study went on to become daily smokers while as the same percentage was 82 per cent in the UK. The results also didn't show how long these people took up smoking for.

Considering the high conversion rate found across the surveys, the researchers conclude that at least some of the decline in smoking prevalence observed over the last 20 years could be attributed to a reduction in experimentation by adolescents. The researchers note that, The different surveys used different methodologies and yielded different results, so the estimated 68.9 percent "conversion rate" from experimentation to daily smoking has a margin of error (between 60.9 and 76.9 percent).

But Professor Hajek, who has provided consultancy for and received research funding from makers of stop-smoking medications, said this instant addiction did not appear to apply to e-cigarettes.

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests. "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story".

According to the Office for National Statistics, 7.6 million British adults were smokers in 2016 - with Northern Ireland having the highest proportion of people with the habit.

Good news is in both the USA and England, the rate of first time smoking among young people is on a decline.


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