Expatica news

Students start smoking at 13

8 June 2007

BRUSSELS – Flemish schoolchildren start smoking and drinking at the age of 13 on average. They start experimenting with drugs at 14 or 15.

This is one of the conclusions from a report on substance abuse in Flanders that was drawn up in response to a conference on health organised by Flemish Public Health Minister Inge Vervotte at the end of last year.

The report also shows that alcohol is the most socially accepted drug in Belgium. By the age of 18, 95 percent of the young people surveyed said they had drunk alcohol. 67 percent of the population drinks alcohol on a weekly basis.

Alcohol use among school students has remained stable over the past years. The use of cannabis has fallen slightly, as has the use of tobacco.

There appears to be no change in smoking behaviour among the Flemish population as a whole. There was a slight increase in the regular consumption of alcohol.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news