North east young people drink the most28th January 2010
New data has highlighted which areas of England are where young people are most likely to drink and smoke.
Highest levels of regular drinking and smoking in the 11-15 age group was in the north of the country with young people in London less likely to consume alcohol and cigarettes.
Data from the NHS Information Centre covering 8,000 pupils over the last three years showed an overall reduction in young drinkers and smokers and a decline in drug abuse.
Some 20% of 11 to 15-year-olds admitted taking drugs in the past year in the North West, while the South West - at 15% - was the lowest.
Youngsters in the North East admitted they had recently drunk on average just under 18 units - the equivalent of two bottles of wine - while those in London had drunk about 11 units.
The numbers of regular smokers in this age group fell from 9% in 2006 to 6% between 2007 and 2008.
Head of the NHS Information Centre, Tim Straughan, said: “The report shows there are significant regional differences in the percentages of young people who smoke, drink and use drugs.
"It is interesting to note that London has such comparatively low levels of drink, drug and alcohol use among its 11 to 15-year-olds. In contrast, youngsters in the North East are more likely than their peers anywhere else in the country to smoke and drink alcohol.”
Professor Mark Bellis of Liverpool John Moores University said the reason for regional variations was unclear.
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Title: North east young people drink the most
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 13909
Date Added: 28th Jan 2010