This report contains results from a survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11. 12,051 pupils in 177 schools completed questionnaires in the autumn term of 2016. | NHS Digital
This survey report presents information on the percentage of pupils who have ever smoked, tried alcohol or taken drugs and their attitudes towards these behaviours. It also includes breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and region.
Other areas covered include the use of new psychoactive substances (also known as legal highs), beliefs about drinking, whether pupils had ever got drunk and consequences of drinking. Questions on the use of nitrous oxide have also been asked for the first time.
- 19 per cent of 11-15 year old pupils had ever smoked, which is similar to 2014
- 44 per cent of pupils had ever drunk alcohol
- 24 per cent of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs. This compares to 15 per cent in 2014. Part of the increase since 2014 may be explained by the addition of questions on nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances. After allowing for this however, it still represents a large increase. Therefore an estimate from the next survey in 2018 is required before we can be confident that these survey results reflect a genuine trend in the wider population. In the meantime the results for drug taking from this survey should be treated with caution.
- 3 per cent of pupils were regular smokers, 10 per cent had drunk alcohol in the last week and 10 per cent had taken drugs in the last month.