Kids these days aren’t drinking as much

Published: 12 January 2018

Teenagers enjoying an alcohol-free drink at a smoke-free party.

Teenagers in Australia are drinking and smoking a lot less.

Teenagers enjoying an alcohol-free drink at a smoke-free party.
Image © 2011 Moodboard/PA Wire 

Teens across Australia in Queensland, Victoria and WA are all drinking less and smoking less than teenagers fifteen years ago according to a new study of 41,000 young people.

The research was conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and they found that teenagers are drinking less alcohol, smoking less marijuana and tobacco compared to teenagers from 1999. Whether this also means there has been a decrease in the number of cigarettes bought in school toilets is not detailed.

Smoking was down from 45% of teenagers in 1999 to just 10% of teens in 2015. The Institute has said that this could be because of public health campaigns aimed to reduce smoking. It may be because 90% of teens didn’t want to use the expression ‘can I bum a dart?’ but that’s not supported in the data.

Drinking was down from 69% in 1999 to 45% in 2015, and cannabis use was down from 15% to 4% in 2015. The main factors credited with the reduction include parents having more of a negative attitude towards the three substances, and it also becoming more difficult for teenagers to get their hands-on booze, smokes and marijuana.