Europe's youth population illicit drug use at "high levels" : Research Study              

Europe's youth population illicit drug use at

LISBON: (APP) Europe's schoolchildren are drinking and smoking less than their predecessors, but illicit drug use remains at "high levels", a new study published Tuesday shows.

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"Smoking and drinking among 15- and 16-year-old school students are showing signs of decline, but there are concerns over challenges posed by new drugs and new addictive behaviours," according to the study published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

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"Positive developments" were seen across the board in the case of teenage smoking, against a backdrop of anti-smoking measures introduced by governments over the last two decades.

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More than half the respondents said they had never smoked, while less than a quarter reported they were current smokers, the sixth European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) showed.

Daily smoking continues to be more prevalent among boys, but the gender gap has narrowed since the first such survey was taken 20 years ago.