HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 cc277-8W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence he has evaluated of changes in the level of consumption of alcohol and tobacco by under-age youngsters; and what assessment he has made of the causes of those changes. [27925]

Ms Jowell

Information about the consumption of alcohol and tobacco by young people aged 11 to 15 years is contained in the reports on surveys carried out by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of the Department of Health, entitled: "Young teenagers and alcohol in 1996" and "Smoking among secondary school children in 1996: England".

"Young teenagers and alcohol in 1996" set out the latest biennial teenage drinking figures, and looked for the first time at the social and educational factors associated with young people's drinking. This and other evidence is being considered by the Ministerial Group on Alcopops which will be meeting in the autumn to review the effectiveness of the steps taken so far by the industry to tackle under-age alcohol misuse.

An Office for National Statistics survey "Teenage smoking attitudes in 1996" looked at the smoking behaviour, knowledge and attitudes of secondary school children.

Copies of these reports have been placed in the Library.