Cannabis habit soars among French teenagers

14th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - French teenagers are among the biggest consumers of cannabis in Europe, smoking joints as often as they drink alcohol, an official study of thousands of students from 450 high schools released Wednesday showed.

PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - French teenagers are among the biggest consumers of cannabis in Europe, smoking joints as often as they drink alcohol, an official study of thousands of students from 450 high schools released Wednesday showed.

By the age of 18, two boys in three and one of every two girls have tried the narcotic - illegal in France - the survey by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Use (OFDT) revealed.

"By the age of 16, regular consumption of cannabis reaches the level of regular consumption of alcohol," the authors said.

Their questioning of 16,833 students last year showed that, by age 18, 21 percent of boys, and seven percent of girls, were smoking more than 10 joints a month.

The number of 16- and 17-year-olds using cannabis at least 10 times a year has tripled over the past decade, according to the study, which is to be incorporated into a Europe-wide report set for publication at the end of the year.

"Cannabis is being consumed younger, is becoming commonplace, and the amount of frequent use is increasing," the head of the National Association of Social Workers in Drug Use (ANIT), Francois Herve, told AFP, commenting on the study.

The OFDT report also noted that smoking tobacco has declined a little in popularity among youths. Even though 80 percent had tried cigarettes by the age of 18, only around a quarter had become hooked, compared to around a third in 1999.

Other drugs apart from cannabis had been tried by only five percent of those surveyed.

© AFP
       
                                                                 Subject: French news

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