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Swiss teenagers smoke and drink less

Fifteen year olds in Switzerland consume less tobacco and alcohol than their European peers, a study on young people's health behaviour has found.

This content was published on September 23, 2008 - 16:45

Between 2002 and 2006, consumption of these substances decreased significantly among Swiss teens, according to the study published by the European regional office of the World Health Organization and Edinburgh University in Scotland.

In the first 2002 survey, 23 per cent of Swiss teens said they smoked cigarettes at least once a week; this dropped to 15 per cent in 2006. The average rate for the 41 countries surveyed was 23 per cent in 2002 falling to 19 per cent four years later.

Cannabis consumption was also down in Switzerland but still remained relatively high. Almost one in three Swiss respondents said they had smoked a joint at least once in their lives, compared to an international average of 18 per cent.

Swiss teenagers are not as committed to drinking as their foreign peers. Some 23 per cent of those surveyed said they had been drunk at least twice in their lives – the international average is 33 per cent.

But the contrast for regular consumption of alcohol is less marked. Some 22 per cent of the Swiss youngsters drank at least once a week compared with 26 per cent internationally.

State of mind was also included in the survey, with almost one in ten Swiss describing themselves as very stressed.

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