The NHS Digital has published the latest statistics on smoking, drinking and drug use among school pupils in England studying in years seven to 11 (mainly aged 11 to 15 years). The report focuses on the prevalence, habits, attitudes, and well-being with respect to substance use in the pupils.
Key findings from the 2018 survey include the following:
- The proportion of pupils who had ever smoked cigarettes had reduced to 16 per cent in 2018 from 19 per cent in 2016 and 49 per cent in 1996. The proportion of pupils who were current smokers had dropped to 5 per cent in 2018 from 22 per cent in 1996.
- Ten per cent of pupils reported consuming alcohol in the past week. This figure varied from 2 per cent of 11-year-olds, 3 per cent of 12-year-olds, to 23 per cent of 15-year-olds. Twenty-two per cent of pupils aged 15 years reported having been drunk in the past four weeks.
- The proportion of pupils who had ever taken drugs was 24 per cent, ranging from 9 per cent of 11-year-olds to 38 per cent of 15-year-olds. Nine per cent of pupils reported using drugs in the past month.
- Low life satisfaction was reported by 40 per cent of recent smokers, 33 per cent of pupils who had used drugs in the past month and 28 per cent of pupils who had consumed alcohol in the past week.