Fewer teenagers smoking and drinking alcohol in the North West

Nearly half of young people say they never drink alcohol
Nearly half of young people say they never drink alcohol

A recent survey conducted across the North West has shown that fewer teenagers between 14-17 years old are smoking and drinking.

The survey commissisioned by the Trading Standards, North West studied drinking and smoking habits of over 7,000 young people.

I’m pleased that the findings of this study reflect that it is becoming commonplace for Lancashire’s young people to choose to drink little or no alcohol

Lancashire County Coun. Azhar Ali

2,185 young people from Lancashire responded to the questionnare survey and the main purpose was to find out where these young people were getting hold of tobacco and alcohol.

The questionnare was distributed throughout schools and the North West Trading Standards say that the findings of the report show “significant reductions in young people’s drinking and smoking behaviours and demonstrate that the work to tackle this complex issue is starting to show significant gains”

The results outlined that: “Nearly half of young people who completed the survey (41%) say that they never drink alcohol and Year-on-year reductions in Lancashire of young people claiming to buy their own alcohol.

“However, 60% of young people who drink alcohol say that their parents or guardians buy or give alcohol to them.

“The percentage of young people claiming to drink alcohol at least once a week has fallen to 11%, from 16% in 2013, and the number of young people who say they drink just to get drunk is down to 25% this year, from 44% in 2013.

“In addition, figures of those who smoke show that only one in ten (11%) of young people surveyed said they currently smoke, down from one in six (16%) in 2013. 67% say that they have never tried smoking, an increase of 8% since 2013.”

Lanc ashire County Coun. Azhar Ali, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I am very encouraged by the results of the recent study, which shows that Lancashire is heading in the right direction and we will continue to support our young people to choose not to drink. Heavy drinking should never be seen as a component of a normal night out, at any age.

“Trading Standards officers have an important role in engaging with businesses, young people and parents on alcohol and tobacco issues.

They also work with like-minded partner organisations to combat young people’s drinking.

“However, I am disappointed that well over half of young people who drink alcohol say that their own parents supply them with it.”

Paul Noone, head of Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, said: “I’m pleased that the findings of this study reflect that it is becoming commonplace for Lancashire’s young people to choose to drink little or no alcohol.

“This is a positive choice which they make for many reasons, possibly by witnessing the negative effects of alcohol on others, by choosing to participate in activities where drinking alcohol rarely plays a role, or by avoiding certain environments.

“Whilst the study clearly shows that the work we have conducted over many years in restricting the supply of alcohol and tobacco to young people is having a positive impact, we need to continue to strengthen our work with partner agencies to ensure we continue to reduce the consequences of drinking and smoking on young people’s health. Parents of course play a vitally important role in this too.

• For help or advice about alcohol and drug misuse visit: www.lancashire.gov.uk – search ‘alcohol and drug misuse’.