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Med J Aust. 1987 Feb 2;146(3):125-30.

Tobacco and alcohol use among Australian secondary schoolchildren.


A national survey of 23,359 Australian schoolchildren who were predominantly in the age range of 12-17 years was undertaken in 1984 to determine their levels of use of tobacco and alcohol. The prevalence of current smoking behaviour (that is, at least one cigarette in the past week) rose with age to 34% among girls and 29% among boys at 15 years of age. The prevalence of current drinking behaviour (that is, at least one drink in the past week) rose with age to 49% among girls and 56% among boys at 17 years of age. Very few pupils reported daily drinking but from 15 years of age between 12% and 14% of the sampled students reported smoking every day. Boys who currently smoked and drank reported higher consumptions of tobacco and alcohol than did girls who currently smoked and drank. Most smoking and drinking took place at weekends. Normal responses for intention to smoke in the future, and for drinkers and smokers "self-referent labels" are also reported, and it is suggested that health education programmes for schoolchildren usefully could be focused on these psychological factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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