It just takes one cigarette

The so-called “sleeper effect” in kids:

Children who light up just once are twice as likely to become steady smokers later.

British researchers report that, among 11-year-olds, the desire to smoke can lie dormant for more than three years after trying just one cigarette.

The researchers call this a “sleeper effect,” and it doubles the risk that a child who smokes just one cigarette will become a regular smoker, according to their report in the July issue of Tobacco Control.

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  • Anonymous

    And 11 year old boys who are briefly exposed to a Playboy magazine are more than twice as likely to have a certain “urge” surface about 3 years later.

  • Gasman

    It’s called selection bias.

    Kids who are prone to smoke, whether by biologic predeliction or environmental and social factors are of course more likely to have a first cigarette.

    The best way to abstain from smoking is obveously to not smoke. Thus it is of no surprize that the non-smoking group never tried smoking.

    The one cigarette thesis would only be credible if somehow a randomized trial were undertaken. By randomizing kids to smokes vs no smokes then the myriad other factors that might later influenece their decision to become smokers would be equally distributed to both groups. But of course it would be absurd to consider such a trial. The point is that retrospective data can never establish causation; it only can suggest association.

  • ipanema

    lol Anon 10:44. Now, that’s a different kind of urge.
    Something that can’t wait for another issue, let alone another three years. :)

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