Smoking, Drinking & Drug Use Among Young People in England - UK

Date: 6 Aug 2011

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England  2010

- Report briefing

Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England - 2010 [NS] – was published last week and contains interesting information on the perceptions, usage and attitudes amongst young people with regards smoking. The full report can be viewed here www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/sdd10fullreport. It had a significant launch and was featured on several national news bulletins and is well worth reading when you have the chance.

For a quicker overview please see below:

Key findings for 2010

- In 2010, just over a quarter (27%) of pupils had tried smoking at least once. In the last decade there has been a sustained decline in the proportion of pupils who have smoked, from 44% in 2001.

- 5% of pupils were categorised as regular smokers; that is, they reported smoking at least once a week. As in previous years, girls were more likely than boys to be regular smokers (6% and 4% respectively).

- 7% of pupils reported smoking in the last week, and this was higher amongst girls than boys (9% and 6% respectively).

- 83% of pupils said that at least one of their family members or friends smoked, including 33% who said that one or both of their parents smoked.

- Among pupils who smoked, the most likely source of cigarettes was being given them by other people (69%), typically other friends (58%).

- In 2010, 37% of pupils who said they smoked said they found it difficult to buy cigarettes from any shop. Among pupils who had tried to buy cigarettes in a shop in the last year, more than half (58%) had been refused at least once, but 42% were always successful.

- Pupils who were regular smokers were likely to show signs of dependence on the habit. Around two thirds (67%) reported that they would find it difficult not to smoke for a week, while almost three quarters (73%) would find it difficult to give up smoking altogether. Almost two thirds (63%) of regular smokers had tried to give up smoking.

- The proportion of pupils who thought it was OK for someone of their age to try smoking to see what it is like has steadily decreased from more than half of pupils (54%) in 1999 to around a third (35%) in 2010. The proportion of pupils who thought it was OK for someone of their age to smoke once a week has also decreased over time.