Less Wigan teens drinking and smoking

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FEWER teenagers in Wigan are smoking or drinking than ever before according to a report.

The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre figures found 17 per cent had tried drugs at least once in 2011, compared with 29 per cent in 2001.

In the North West, including Wigan, the survey found only 15 per cent of those asked had ever tried illegal drugs, whereas 45 per cent had drank alcohol and 26 per cent had smoked.

According to the survey of 6,500 children aged between 11 and 15 showed the numbers taking drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol had all fallen over the past decade.

Dr Tim Dalton, chair of Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG), said: “Excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking causes many health and social problems and it is worrying that some young people may not be following sensible advice. Help is available across the Borough to help people of all ages stop smoking and reduce their alcohol consumption and I urge people to get help as soon as possible.”

Cannabis was the most commonly used drug, although its was also down.

The survey also found the proportion of 11-to-15-year-olds smoking was the lowest since the polling began in 1982, and the number of “regular” smokers had halved in the past decade.

Siobhan McCann, of the charity Drinkaware, said: “While the decline in the number of children trying alcohol is good news, the report still shows there are 360,000 young people who reported drinking alcohol in the last week alone.”

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, said: “Pupils appear to be leading an increasingly clean-living lifestyle and are less likely to take drugs as well as cigarettes and alcohol.”