Wednesday, June 18, 2008


A report from the World Health Organisation shows that English schoolchildren drink more alcohol and take more drugs and to have had sex than their counterparts in most of the Western world.

Eleven and 13 year olds are among the most likely to have smoked a cigarette.

And they are more stressed at school than any country except Portugal, mirroring a Unicef study last year which found British children were the most unhappy in Europe.

Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley said: 'It is tragic that so many children in this country have been sucked into alcohol abuse at such a young age.

This is yet more evidence of the social breakdown that has occurred under this Government.'

The findings, compiled by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the World Health Organisation, were based on interviews with 240,000 children in Europe and North America-aged 11, 13 and 15. The report also raised concerns over the use of cannabis.

Schoolchildren in England and Wales also feel under more pressure than those in almost every country which took part in the study. The survey found 65 per cent of 15-year-olds in Wales and England felt 'pressured' from schoolwork - more than every country except Portugal.

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