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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Fall in teen drinking

29th July 2011

The number of teenagers in England who are drinking alcohol, smoking and taking drugs has fallen.


Figures for 2009 and 2010 show that the percentage of 11-15 year olds who had tried alcohol fell from 51% to 45%, while 27% of pupils said they had smoked at least once and 18% had tried drugs.

The data from the NHS Information Centre figures also indicated that fewer teens believe drinking and drunkenness is acceptable.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: “Our figures point to an increasingly intolerant attitude among young people in today's society when it comes to the use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

“As well as a reduction in the percentage who say they partake in these behaviours; a shrinking number think that drinking and drunkenness is acceptable among their peers.”

The figures were compiled from a survey of 7,296 pupils from 246 schools.

The proportion of those drinking alcohol in the week before the study fell from a peak of 26% in 2001 to 13% in 2010, though of those who did drink, 60% consumed more than four units.

One in 20 were regular smokers and more girls than boys smoked.

Drinkaware chief executive Chris Sorek said: “These statistics are not just encouraging because they show a drop in the number of children who have tried alcohol, but also because they show a positive shift in attitudes.”

The Department of Health said drug use, alcohol misuse and smoking were still major problems that needed to be tackled.


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