Tobacco cigarettes are more addictive than ever imagined, says study
Back in the 1950s, Big Tobacco companies would market their cigarettes with false promises of aiding digestion, improving weight loss, and even straightening teeth. By the 1990s, cigarette manufacturers were under siege by a surge of lawsuits issued by over 40 states demanding that cigarette manufacturers pay for their actions. Science had proven that not only is smoking highly carcinogenic, the Big Tobacco was intentionally adding chemicals specifically chosen to keep smokers hooked.
A new study published by Queen Mary University in London shows just how addictive these cancer sticks truly are. By surveying a whopping 216,000 smokers from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, the researchers determined that smoking even a single cigarette increases the chances of becoming a lifelong smoker by as much as 68.9 percent.
Tobacco cigarettes are designed to be addictive
After conducting as many as 2,776 surveys since the year 2000, the Queen Mary scientists filtered their selections down to only eight which they thought represented the closest sampling of smokers from the current general population. A total of 216, 314 people responded, and of the 60.3 percent who admitted to at least having tried a cigarette in the past, 68.9 percent also admitted to eventually becoming daily smokers.
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That’s over two-thirds or three-out-of-five people who experimented with smoking becoming true, long-term addicts. In a press release regarding the UK study entitled What Proportion of People Who Try One Cigarette Become Daily Smokers? A Meta-Analysis of Representative Surveys, lead author Dr. Peter Hajek issued the following statement.
“In the development of any addictive behaviour, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need. 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.”
These claims are further supported by research out of Harvard University in 2017. The published findings indicate that it is the “cigarette additives and ingredients with chemosensory effects that promote” cigarette addiction.
Luckily, both in the United States and abroad, smoking is on the decline. And while many cite the rise in popularity of vaping as a significant contributing factor to these plummeting smoking rates, others still make false accusations that vaping is a just as addictive as smoking. Some anti-vaping activists even spout that there is no scientific evidence proving that vaping helps smokers quit. Luckily, there are two very important research studies which debunk these outrageous claims once and for all.
Penn State: Vaping is ‘less addictive’ than smoking
In mid-2017, scientists from the Penn State College of Medicine published a vaping study entitled E-cigarettes less addictive than cigarettes, study shows which is readily available for review on the Science Daily website. Through the evaluations of biomarker samples of approximately 32,000 participants, lead author Guodong Liu now claims that there is “no doubt” that vaping is significantly less addictive than smoking.
The second study was conducted by scientists from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health. By monitoring a control group of over 15,000 respondents, the Columbia team found that smokers who switch to vaping have a 52 percent success rate of quitting smoking indefinitely.
The scientists tested multiple smoking cessation methods, including traditional nicotine replacement therapies like “the patch” and even the cold turkey method. But it was vaping that proved the victor.
In fact, the researchers found that people who switch to vaping are more than three times more likely to overcome their addiction to smoking compared to any other method. The vapers also reported significantly diminished frequencies of vaping compared to smoking while many others would eventually quit both vaping and smoking altogether.
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