Young smokers may develop a dependence on tobacco within two days of inhaling their first cigarette, concludes a report published in the July edition of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
Nearly 60 percent of the children who inhaled cigarette smoke reported feelings of tobacco dependency. Fifty percent of those who felt dependent on tobacco smoked only an average of seven cigarettes per month, debunking the popular belief that dependency only occurs in daily smokers, says the study.
The report, financed by the Bethesda, Md.-based National Institute on Drug Abuse, surveyed 1,246 6th graders in Massachusetts over a four-year period.
“Symptoms of Tobacco Dependence After Brief Intermittent Use” is available from the American Medical Association.
A version of this article appeared in the August 15, 2007 edition of Education Week