Swiss teenagers are Europe's top joint smokers

Swiss teenagers lead the way when it comes to smoking joints Keystone Archive

Swiss teenagers smoke more cannabis than their peers in more than 30 other European countries, according to a survey.

This content was published on November 19, 2004 - 08:00

The findings, published on Thursday, revealed that one in three Swiss 15-year-olds has lit up a joint within the past year.

According to the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Addiction, the number of teenagers regularly smoking or getting drunk rose by ten per cent between 1998 and 2002.

"For a large number of young people, falling back on alcohol, cigarettes or cannabis is part of a response to growing social pressures and a failure to engage with the future," survey leader Holger Schmid said in a statement.

The survey focused on children aged 11 to 15 in more than 30 European countries. In Switzerland, researchers questioned more than 10,000 school children.

Trailing Switzerland

Britain and Spain trailed Switzerland as the top cannabis consumers, while British and Scandinavian teenagers stood out for "drinking in order to get drunk".

The study also found that more than half of 15-year-olds in Britain, Denmark, Finland and the Ukraine had drunk excessively on several occasions. But in Switzerland, only 27.8 per cent of those questioned said this was the case.

The latest survey comes just over three months after the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Switzerland found that 80 per cent of 15-year-olds drank regularly – despite being underage.

More than half of the 16-year-olds questioned said they went binge drinking at least once a month.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they smoked every day.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The survey found that:

One in three Swiss 15-year-olds has lit up a joint within the past year.
The number of teenagers regularly smoking or getting drunk rose by ten per cent between 1998 and 2002.
Just under 30 per cent of 15-year-olds said they had drunk excessively on several occasions.

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