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Teens are drinking and smoking less than ever

Gen-Z teens are the most clean-living on record, according to a new survey

Rates of drinking and smoking among British Gen Z-ers have dropped to the lowest level on record, according to a new National Centre for Social Research survey. 

The results found that fewer than five per cent of young people aged between eight and 15 have smoked, and that only 17 per cent have admitted to ever trying alcohol. This is a sharp drop from previous years, with smoking rates down by three-quarters since 2003, and drinking down by two-thirds. 

Gillian Prior, the head of health at the National Centre for Social Research, suggested that the dramatic drop could be blamed on stricter laws, as well as changes in technology and society.

“Changes to the law mean that under-18s are prohibited from buying cigarettes and the Challenge 25 policy adopted by many retailers has meant that these laws are more rigorously enforced than they have been in the past,” she told The Guardian

Over the past ten years, in an effort to reduce smoking rates, the government has introduced graphic health warnings on tobacco products. It has also raised the legal age for buying tobacco from 16 to 18, and banned all smoking in enclosed public places.

“We should not underestimate the importance of changes in the nature of childhood,” added Prior. “Changes in technology and society mean that teenagers in particular spend their time in a very different way compared to teenagers 15 years ago.”