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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2005 Feb;53(1):3-13.

Trends in cannabis use and its determinants among teenagers in the French-speaking community of Belgium.

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  • 1Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Bruxelles, Belgique.



Cannabis consumption among teenagers has undergone dramatic changes in Europe since the beginning of the 1990s. A number of behaviors associated with cannabis consumption, such as tobacco smoking, excessive drinking and truancy are developing too, each in their own way.


To assess the evolution over time of the various types of cannabis consumption (both ever and weekly consumption) in relation to these determinants (age, sex, studies chosen, truancy, tobacco smoking and recurrent intoxication), we have analyzed the cross-sectional study on Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children in the French-speaking Belgian Community (12-17 years) since 1994. We used logistic models to analyze the evolution of the various types of cannabis consumption and to identify the associated factors. Finally, in order to demonstrate time trends, we tested for each type of consumption in the interactions between the significant predictive variables in each model and the survey year (1994-1998-2000).


Rates of ever use, past 30-day use and weekly use among the ever users have been increasing from 1994 to 2002 and reached, respectively, 22.0%, 11.6%, 6.8% and 32.9%. Cannabis ever use rose more noticeably among the general education students (adjusted OR (95%CI)): 3.08 (2.66-3.57) and among the truants: 4.57 (3.39-6.14). Weekly cannabis smoking rose most especially among the truants: 1.92 (1.34-2.78).


Truants should constitute a priority target for the prevention of cannabis consumption, while the phenomenon of truancy must be moreover examined in depth in order to more thoroughly identify the appropriate prevention programs organized both in and outside of the school environment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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