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Teens emulating Harry Potter' Hermione by staying off booze and drugs

London, Fri, 27 Jul 2012 ANI

London, July 27 (ANI): Teenagers are finally starting to say no to drugs and alcohol, and appear to be leading an increasingly clean-living lifestyle, a survey has revealed

Rates of drug- taking, drinking and smoking among children have plummeted in the past decade.

However, girls are more likely to emulate the polite, studious Hermione Granger, played by Emma Watson in the 'Harry Potter' films than wild-child party girls like Peaches Geldof in her heyday.

Among 11 to 15 year olds, the proportion who admitted to having taken drugs fell from 29 percent in 2001 to 17 percent in 2011.

Regular smokers of at least one cigarette a week halved from one in 10 to one in 20.

The number who said they had drunk alcohol in the past week was down from 26 percent to 12 percent.

Experts said a "profound shift" had taken place in the new generation's attitude to drink and drugs.

The findings were based on a survey of 6,500 children aged 11 to 15 at secondary schools in England, conducted between September and December 2011.

"The report shows pupils appear to be leading an increasingly clean-living lifestyle and are less likely to take drugs as well as cigarettes and alcohol. All of this material will be of immense interest to those who work with young people and aim to steer them towards a healthier way of life," the Independent quoted Tim Straughan, the chief executive of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, as saying.

Siobhan McCann, of the charity Drinkaware, said: "While the decline in the number of children trying alcohol is good news, the report still shows there are 360,000 young people who reported drinking alcohol in the past week alone.

"Parents are the biggest suppliers of alcohol to young people aged 10 to 17 and also the biggest influence on their child's relationship with drink."

Drug-taking, drinking and smoking increases with age, the study found. Among 11-year-olds, fewer than one in 30 said they had taken drugs in the past year, compared with almost one in four 15-year-olds.

Cannabis was the most popular drug but its use fell during the decade. In 2011, one in 13 young people said they had smoked it, compared with one in seven in 2001. (ANI)

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