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Fewer children are taking up smoking

YOUNG SMOKER ... but fewer South Tyneside children are taking up the habit.

YOUNG SMOKER ... but fewer South Tyneside children are taking up the habit.

The number of schoolchildren trying cigarettes has dipped to the lowest level on record, says a new report.

One in five pupils aged 11 to 15 said they have tried smoking, the Health and Social Care Information Centre found.

The NHS statistics authority said this is the lowest level recorded since the school pupil survey began in 1982.

The research also suggested that youngsters attitudes towards smoking, drinking and taking drugs are “considerably” healthier than a decade ago.

The prevalence of such habits among school children drastically dipped between 2003 and 2013, according to the HSCIC.

In 2003, 42 per cent of children polled said they had lit up at least once in the past.

Just three per cent of pupils admitted to being regular smokers last year compared with nine per cent in 2003.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “It is always welcome news when evidence suggests that smoking rates among children are decreasing.

“However, with 22 per cent of children still saying that they have tried smoking, we need to do more to ensure that we continue to reduce the detrimental effect it has on their health.”

 

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