Teenager trends: The European picture on cigarettes, drugs and alcohol consumption

Figures underline need for a new national drugs strategy

For many of us the initial choice about whether to smoke, drink alcohol or engage in illicit drug use is made in our teens. And habits formed at that early stage can be difficult to change.

Which makes the ongoing “European Schools Project on Alcohol and other Drugs in Ireland” (ESPAD) a valuable barometer of lifestyle choices affecting the future health of the nation. In operation since 1995, ESPAD is a programme in more than 40 European countries to collect comparable data on substance use among 15 to16-year-old students.

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