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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England - 2005, Headline figures

Official statistics, National statistics, Survey
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Date Range:
01 Jan 2005 to 31 Dec 2005


This annual publication contains headline figures from a survey of over 9,000 secondary schoolchildren aged 11-15 in England in the autumn term of 2005, focusing on monitoring prevalence of smoking, drinking and drug use. The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) carried out the survey on behalf of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre and Home Office. This is the most recent survey in a series that began in 1982. A more detailed report will be published in August 2006.

Each survey since 1998 has included a core section of questions on smoking drinking and drug use and, since 2000, the remainder of the questionnaire has focused in alternate years on smoking and drinking or on drug use. The emphasis of the 2005 survey is on drug taking.

Key Facts

The 2005 survey showed that around 11% of 11-15 years olds had taken drugs in the last month, 9% had smoked at least one cigarette a week and 22% had drunk alcohol in the last week. The 2005 results were broadly similar to those in previous years.

Drug use
In 2005, 19% of pupils had taken drugs in the last year, a similar proportion to 2004 (18%) and a decrease from 21% in 2003

As in previous years, prevalence of drug taking increased with age: 6% of 11 year olds had taken drugs in the last year compared with 34% of 15 year olds.

In 2005, as in previous years, pupils were more likely to take cannabis than any other drug. Twelve percent of pupils aged 11-15 had taken cannabis in the last year, a similar proportion to 2004 (11%). Prevalence in both 2005 and 2004 was lower than in 2003 (13%).

The prevalence of regular smoking (at least one cigarette a week) in 2005 was 9%, the same as in 2004 and 2003 and a decrease from 10% in 2002. Girls are more likely to be regular smokers than boys (10% of girls compared with 7% of boys).

The proportion of pupils who had never had a drink is the highest ever measured by this survey at 42% of pupils. However 22% had drunk alcohol in the last week.

ISBN Reference: 1-84636-042-0


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Last edited: 11 February 2019 4:53 pm