On average, 60 percent of respondents admitted to having tried a cigarette.
The researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that roughly 61 percent of people develop a daily habit of smoking after trying their first cigarette.
"This is the first time that the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented from such a large set of data", said lead researcher Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University.
Considering the high conversion rate found across the surveys, the researchers conclude that at least some of the decline in smoking prevalence observed over the last 20 years could be attributed to a reduction in experimentation by adolescents.
However, Professor Hajek but refutes a link between daily smoking and vaping. It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion of non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers.
In 2016, 15.5% of the adults from the United Kingdom smoked, down from 19.9% in 2010, according to the office for National Statistics.More news: Packers promote Gutekunst to general manager
In the same period, 19.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds were smokers, compared with 25.8% in 2010.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the nonprofit Action on Smoking and Health, said the research "highlights the risks children run of entering into a life of addiction when they experiment with smoking". But while on one side public and retailers are supporting the introduction of licensing for tobacco, on the other side the government refusing to introduce this.
They say that as the surveys used different methods, there was quite a wide margin of error and the "conversion" rate could be anywhere between 60.9% and 76.9%.
The research team also noted that it's possible current smokers were less likely to take part in this survey than non or past smokers: A great part of the homeless population smokes and people with mental health problems, who are less likely to answer surveys. To everyone's surprise, the company is running full-page advertisements in several United Kingdom newspapers, stating that it aims to stop selling cigarettes in Britain sometime in the future, notes CBSNews.
"Fortunately, in the United Kingdom, youth smoking rates continue to decline - but we shouldn't be complacent".