Use of alcohol and e-cigarettes among youth ‘alarming’: WHO

When it came to current use – defined as having drunk at least once in the last 30 days – eight per cent of 11-year-old boys reported having done so, compared to five per cent of girls.

But by age 15, girls had overtaken boys, with 38 per cent of girls saying they had drunk at least once in the last 30 days, while only 36 per cent of boys had.

“These findings highlight how available and normalised alcohol is, showing the urgent need for better policy measures to protect children and young people from harms caused by alcohol,” said WHO Europe – which gathers 53 countries including several in Central Asia.

In addition, nine per cent of teenagers reported having experienced “significant drunkenness” – having been drunk at least twice.

The WHO said this rate climbed from five per cent among 13-year-olds to 20 per cent for 15-year-olds, “demonstrating an escalating trend in alcohol abuse among youth”.


The report also highlighted the increased use of e-cigarettes – often called vapes – among teenagers.

While smoking is declining, with 13 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds having smoked in 2022, two percentage points less than four years earlier, the report noted that many of them have instead adopted e-cigarettes – which have overtaken cigarettes among adolescents.

Around 32 per cent of 15-year-olds have used an e-cigarette, and 20 per cent reported having used one in the last 30 days.

“The widespread use of harmful substances among children in many countries across the European Region – and beyond – is a serious public health threat,” WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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