The kids are all right

25/07/14 . Story

School pupils appear to be drinking less, smoking less and taking fewer drugs. Yes, LESS. In England anyway. 

New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) bring good news for the end of summer term. In 2013:

  • 3% of pupils were regular smokers compared to 9% ten years earlier in 2003.
  • 9% of pupils had drunk alcohol in the last week - less than half the level in 2003 when this was 25%. 
  • 6% of school pupils had used illegal drugs in the last month which is again half the level in 2003 when this was 12%.

Less positively, there remains a core of about 2% of pupils - 1 in 50 - who report all three behaviours (smoking and drinking in the last week and having used drugs in the last month) and this is similar to figures reported in previous years.

The Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2013 report is based on survey results of over 5,000 pupils (5,187) in 174 schools in the autumn term of 2013.