World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Study

The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey is a WHO collaborative cross-national study that monitors the health behaviours, health outcomes and social environments of school-aged children every four years. HBSC Ireland surveys school-going children aged 9-18 years. The study is conducted by the HBSC Ireland team, based at the Health Promotion Research Centre, University of Galway.

Trends in age of initiation of smoking and drinking alcohol 1998-2018

Age of first cigarette
Children were asked at what age they first smoked a cigarette (more than a puff ). The response options ranged from ‘never’ to ‘16 years or older’. The percentage of 15-17 year olds who reported ever smoking and having smoked their first cigarette aged 11 or younger, 13 or younger and 15 or younger are presented in this visual.

Age of first alcoholic drink
Children who ever had an alcoholic drink were asked how old they were the first time they had a drink. Those aged 15-17 years were classified into those that had their first alcoholic drink at or before age 11, at or before age 13 and at or before age 15.

The interactive data visual below will update based on the tab selected (at the top of the visual) and items selected in the legend on the right.

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