A study of smoking habits in 681 seventh graders (12 to 13 years old)
in Massachusetts suggests that addiction to nicotine can occur very
fast. The study was published in the British Medical Association
journal Tobacco Control (9:313-315, 2000).
During the year of the study, 95 of the youths said they had started
smoking (at least one cigarette a month). Of these, 60 (63%) reported
experiencing one or more symptoms of nicotine addiction within 4
weeks of starting smoking.
About 25% of those with symptoms of addiction said the symptoms
started within 2 weeks of the first cigarette, and several said their
symptoms began within a few days.