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Publication, Part of

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2018 [NS]

National statistics

National Statistics

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Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2018 [NS]


This report contains results from a biennial survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15), focusing on smoking, drinking and drug use. It covers a range of topics including prevalence, habits, attitudes, and for the first time in 2018, wellbeing.

It includes this summary report showing key findings, excel tables with more detailed outcomes, technical appendices and a data quality statement. An anonymised record level file of the underlying data on which users can carry out their own analysis will be made available via the UK Data Service later in 2019 (see link below).

This release has been delayed from the pre-announced publication date of 25th July 2019, due to operational reasons.

Based on the 2018 survey:

16% of pupils had ever smoked cigarettes

Down from 19% in 2016, and 49% in 1996

5% of pupils were current smokers, down from 22% in 1996

10% of pupils said they had drunk alcohol in the last week

This varied from 2% of 11 year olds and 3% of 12 year olds, to 23% of 15 year olds

22% of 15 year olds reported having been drunk in the last four weeks

24% of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs

This varied from 9% of 11 year olds, to 38% of 15 year olds

9% of pupils said that they had taken drugs in the last month

40% of recent smokers reported low life satisfaction nowadays

This compares to 18% for all pupils

Low life satisfaction was reported by 33% of pupils who had taken drugs in the last month, and 28% of pupils who had drunk alcohol in the last week.


Last edited: 23 January 2020 3:48 pm