It is popularly believed that people become addicted to nicotine by smoking regularly over a long period of time. But the facts appear to be more disturbing. According to a Canadian study, young people can develop addictive symptoms very quickly, even if they smoke no more than a few cigarettes a month.
Using a list of 11 symptoms, the research team questioned 118 young people in their first year of high school to understand their cigarette comsumption patterns and determine their level of nicotine dependency. Among the young people who said they had smoked only once or twice in the month before the interview, 11.5 percent displayed one or more symptoms of addiction.
According to Jennifer O'Loughlin, chief author of the study and a professor of epidemology, when young people show signs of addiction, the time for prevention is past. "By then, they need to be helped to kick the habit."
it follows that public health campaigns aimed at young people must be drastically modified to convince them to eliminate cigarettes completely.