A new survey on smoking found that around 60.3% of people tried smoking, and of those, 68.9% could not stop themselves from becoming a daily smoker, according to the BBC. According to the researchers, one smoking experience is enough to leave a “remarkable hold” on the first timer.
You can easily become a daily smoker
A total of 215,000 respondents were included in the meta-analysis, which was published in the journal of Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Further, the results are based on a total of eight surveys between 2000 and 2016. The study included data from countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
According to the lead researcher, Professor Peter Hajek, from the Queen Mary University of London, it is the first time a connection between trying the first cigarette and becoming a regular smoker has been established using such a large number of participants.
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“We’ve found that the conversion rate from first-time smoker to daily smoker is surprisingly high, which helps confirm the importance of preventing cigarette experimentation in the first place,” Hajek said.
Further, Hajek revealed that the UK witnessed a commendable reduction in smoking, and the recent findings confirm that. According to the survey, only 19% of 11-to-15-year-olds ever tried a cigarette, and that is “good news.”
In 2016, 15.5% of the adults from the UK smoked, down from 19.9% in 2010, according to the office for National Statistics. During the same period, 19.3% of 18-to-24-year-olds used to smoke compared to 25.8% in 2010.
However, Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, believes the government should make more stringent rules to regulate tobacco sales. She stated that the government is reluctant to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers even though both the public and retailers are in support of this, notes the BBC.
Phillip Morris to quit selling tobacco
It’s not just the people in the UK who are taking a positive step towards leading a cigarette-free healthy life, but the name synonymous with tobacco since the 19th century – Phillip Morris – is also taking a step towards quitting selling cigarettes. To everyone’s surprise, the company is running full-page advertisements in several UK newspapers, stating that it aims to stop selling cigarettes in Britain sometime in the future, notes CBSNews.
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. The company is also planning to lend support to the anti-smoking efforts of local UK governments in areas where smoking rates have spiked up. In addition, the company is seeking approval to offer information on quitting and switching to alternatives on the cigarette packs.
In a letter to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Peter Nixon, managing director of PMI said, “We believe we have an important role to play in helping the U.K. become smoke-free.”
Nixon further stated that the commitments of the company are practical steps that would help to realize the goal.
“We recognize that never starting to smoke — or quitting altogether — are always the best option.”