Consumption of tobacco by adolescents

The relevant data here were collected by an international research network cooperating with the WHO in the framework of the HBSC Study (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children).


The results of this study shows that the consumption of tobacco increases with the age of users, with only minor differences being observed between the sexes. These results indicate that, although more girls overall smoke, they do so less heavily than boys, i.e. consuming fewer cigarettes on fewer days per week. Whereas the number of students aged 11 – 15 years who smoke rose between 1994 and 1998, this figure has steadily fallen since then. There has also been a continuous reduction in the percentage of adolescents who smoke on a daily basis, although this trend is not as marked, falling from 9.7% in 1998 to 8.2% in 2010. The consumption pattern of 17-year-olds has only been recorded by the HBSC study since 2010. The study showed that by 2014 the number of youngsters smoking every day had halved: falling from 30.4% to 14.3% for girls and from 35.4% to 18.8% for boys.

Questions such as the current status of smokers in the population aged 15 years or older in private households were investigated by the Austrian Health Interview Survey (ATHIS). This study was carried out by Statistics Austria in the framework of the European Statistical System. The proportion of adolescents aged 15 – 19 years who smoke every day declined in the time between the ATHIS surveys performed in 2006 and in 2014, falling from 21% to 18% for girls and from 26% to 22% for boys. However, the increase in smoking, which rises with age, was especially marked in the generation born between 1987-1991, who were aged 15 to 19 years at the time of the 2006 ATHIS survey. Hence, the increase in the number of daily smokers by nine and eleven percentage points respectively in the 2014 ATHIS survey.

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