A new study found that at least three out of five people who try cigarettes become daily smokers. In other words, of the 60% of people had ever tried a cigarette, 69% reported that they became daily smokers.(1)
The study analyzed responses from 215,000 people in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
“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,” said Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
Smoking’s high “conversion rate” demonstrates the importance of preventing people from trying cigarettes in the first place. Fortunately, smoking rates are on the decline. 8% of American high school students reported in 2016 that they had smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, a significant decrease compared to nearly 16% in 2011.(2)
Still, nicotine is incredibly addictive. Even though fewer students are trying cigarettes, those who do experiment with smoking run the risk of entering into a life of addiction–to nicotine and other substances. What’s more, smoking cigarettes can make it difficult for people to overcome addiction and achieve long-term sobriety.
A study from the Boston University School of Public Health found that smoking cigarettes after stopping the use of illicit drugs increases the likelihood of substance use relapse.
Researchers investigated the correlation between cigarette smoking and relapse rates over the course of three years among adults who had stopped substance use. 11% of smokers who smoked throughout the study relapsed, and 8% who quit smoking and 6.5% of never-smokers relapsed.(3) Researchers also found that both daily and nondaily smokers had roughly twice the odds of relapsing at the end of the three year period compared to nonsmokers.
The study illuminated a few possibilities as to why smoking may increase the likelihood of relapse. Cigarettes may act as a “cue” for drug use, and nicotine may cause intensified cravings for stimulants and opiates.
Nicotine is undeniably addictive. Not only can it lead to addiction, but it can also stunt a person’s recovery from substance use. These findings call for smoking cessation services to be incorporated into more addiction treatment center practices.
At Boca Detox, we believe in helping clients detox from all substances–nicotine included. We’re a medically-supervised detox facility with a highly regarded reputation in the addiction treatment space. There is truly no better place to begin your journey to a lasting recovery. Call us at 561-271-7612 for more information about how our detox programs can help you heal.