"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 Prof Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University, who led the study.
Anti-smoking campaigners say the findings lend weight to a campaign to licence tobacco retailers and put cigarettes on a par with alcohol. The total amount of respondents was of 216,314.
All the surveys included questions about ever trying a cigarette and any subsequent daily smoking habit. Among them, almost 68.9% reported that they had progressed to smoking daily. Among those, 68.9% said they had gone on to smoke every day. Since the different surveys used a range of methodologies, this estimated conversion rate was assigned a margin of error, meaning it could be as low as 60.9 percent and as high as 76.9 percent.
"In the development of any addictive behaviour, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need".
"The finding provides strong support for the current efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents", the new study's authors write.
Two-thirds of smokers in the United Kingdom start before the age of 18.
It is like getting influencing from those who had made cigarette smoking a habit for them.
"Alcohol can only be sold by licensed shops, while anyone can sell cigarettes, which are far more addictive and lethal". She stated that the government is reluctant to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers even though both the public and retailers are in support of this, notes the BBC. But, he noted, the influence of e-cigarettes should also be explored, since the decline in smoking rates in England has accelerated since the devices came onto the market.
In 2016, 15.5% of adults from the United Kingdom smoked - about 7.6 million people - according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 19.9% in 2010.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency told MPs: 'E-cigs will improve public health if they become a route out of smoking for large numbers of adult smokers, without providing a route into smoking for children and non-smokers or generating new health risks.