Smoking, alcohol and drug use, and gambling down among youth over the past 15 years

Montréal, November 25, 2014 – The first results of the Québec Survey on Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs and Gambling in High School Students, 2013, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, revealed that tobacco use declined sharply over the past 15 years. Between 1998 and 2013, the proportion of adolescents using tobacco products decreased from 33% to 12%. Cigarette smoking fell from 30% to 6% over the same period. For the first time, the survey found that 28% of young people had already used e-cigarettes.

The study also showed that alcohol use in the past 12 months declined among high school students, decreasing from 71% in 2000 to 57% in 2013. A similar trend was observed with regard to drug use: from 43% in 2000, the proportion of students who reported using drugs declined to 24% in 2013. Cannabis remained the most commonly used drug with 23% of students reporting its use. Finally, the results showed that a quarter (25%) of high school students reported gambling in the past 12 months, a significant drop from 51% found in 2002.

This survey was conducted on behalf of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and Québec en Forme. It was carried out on 5,000 students from 153 Québec public and private high schools in November and December 2013. This was the 7th edition of the survey.

The Institut’s report, entitled Enquête québécoise sur le tabac, l’alcool, la drogue et le jeu chez les élèves du secondaire, 2013 – Évolution des comportements au cours des 15 dernières années, provides results, at the provincial level, on smoking, alcohol and drug use, and participation in gambling among youth, as well as on the evolution of these behaviours.

The data collected not only provide Quebecers with information about the lifestyle habits of teenagers, but will also contribute to the development and improvement of programs directed at youth. Indeed, these data will help the health and social services network increase the effectiveness of programs aimed at preventing potentially risky behaviours as well as promoting healthy lifestyle habits in Québec youth.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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