/Adolescents smoke less and less
Adolescents Smoke Less And Less

Adolescents smoke less and less

Middle school and high school students are less likely to smoke than their elders, in favor of electronic cigarettes, according to an OFDT study. On the other hand, they would consume as much cannabis and alcohol as adults.

Adolescents smoke less and less

Fewer cigarettes in middle and high schools? Tobacco use has clearly decreased among 11-18 year-olds over the past few years, according to the National Survey in College and High School among Adolescents on Health and Substances (EnCLASS) from the French Drugs Observatory and drug addiction (OFDT) published in the journal Trends for the month of June 2019. The study was conducted from March to June 2018 among 20,000 young people attending school in mainland France using an online questionnaire.

Less than 20% of high school students who smoke regularly

First notable result: between 2014 and 2018, the daily smoking of middle school students fell from 5.6 to 2.5% among fourth year students and from 12.3 to 6.5% among third year students. Similarly, in high school, the tobacco experimentation rate fell from 60.9% in 2015 to 53% in 2018 and daily cigarette smoking from 23.2 to 17.5%, thereby falling below the 20% bar.

This is a “general decline in tobacco use, prolonging the trend that began several years ago in the adolescent population”Observes the EnCLASS study. On a larger scale, this drop in the number of smokers can be observed in all age groups: in May 2019, Public Health France revealed that in two years, the number of smokers in France had fallen by 1.6 million, i.e. about 12%.

Read also: The French underestimate the dangers of tobacco

16% of grade 3 students have already tested cannabis

But if cigarettes are on the decline, vaping is gaining ground among young people: just over half of French high school students have experimented with electronic cigarettes (52.1%) against a third (35.1%) in 2015. It remains to be seen whether or not e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine cause people to start smoking, a question that research has yet to elucidate.

Cannabis, on the other hand, remains smoked as much by teenagers today as it is by their elders. This drug begins its distribution at the end of college, with 7.7% of fourths concerned and 16.1% of thirds and sees its use develop in high school. A third of high school students have tested cannabis and 6.8% of Terminal are regular users. Last April, the OFDT already revealed that 7.4% of adolescents were at high risk of problematic cannabis use.

Half of high school students have been drunk

More broadly, who says adolescence often means experimentation. “Periods of new experiences“, These seven years spent in college and high school correspond to“diffusion times of different psychoactive substances“, Emphasizes the EnCLASS study. Middle school and high school thus remain the periods of experimentation with the first drinks of alcohol: according to EnCLASS, more than four in 10 middle school students (44%) have already drunk alcohol when entering sixth grade and they will be more than 75% in third.

During the high school years, experiments continue at the same time as regular uses take hold: nearly nine out of 10 final year students have already tasted alcohol. And they didn’t just taste it, since almost half of high school students (49.5%) have already been drunk.