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Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2014

This is the latest in the series of surveys of secondary school children in England whichprovides the national estimates of how many young people aged 11 to 15 smoke, drink alcoholor take drugs. The first survey in the series, carried out in 1982, measured the prevalence ofsmoking among pupils and described their smoking behaviour. Trends in smoking weremonitored by similar surveys carried out every two years. Questions on alcohol consumptionwere added to the survey in 1988; the 1998 survey was the first to include questions on theprevalence of drug use. Since 2000, the survey has been carried out annually by the NationalCentre for Social Research (NatCen Social Research since February 2012) and the NationalFoundation for Educational Research (NFER).

Each survey now includes a core section of questions covering the following:
• pupils’ experience of smoking, drinking and drug use;
• consumption of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks in the last week; and
• awareness and availability of specific named drugs.

As well as these core measures, questionnaires since 2000 have included more detailedquestions, with the focus alternating between smoking and drinking in one year and drug usethe next. The focus in 2014 was smoking and drinking, and this report reflects that.