Addiction to Nicotine May Occur Quickly

October 1, 2000

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).

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.