Module 5: young people, society and AOD: facilitator's guide

4.3 Tobacco and alcohol use among young people

Page last updated: 2004

Tobacco use
Alcohol use
Where do young people drink?
What do young people drink?
Reflection

Tobacco use

Males and females of all ages have similar patterns of tobacco use (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Tobacco use, 14-29-year-olds 2001 (percent)

Text equivalent below for Figure 2: Tobacco use, 14-29-year-olds 2001 (percent)

(Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2001.)
a Never smoked more than 100 cigarettes or the equivalent amount of tobacco.
b Ex-smoker: smoked at least 100 cigarettes (manufactured and/or roll your own) or the equivalent tobacco in their life, but reported no longer smoking.

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Text version of Figure 2

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
14-19 year olds % 20-29 year olds %
Males - never smoked a full cigarettea
76
51
Females - never smoked a full cigarettea
76
51
Males - ex smokersb
4
12
Females - ex smokersb
4
18
Males - weekly
2
3
Females - weekly
2
2
Males - daily
14
28
Females - daily
17
24

Alcohol use

Significant numbers of young people consume alcohol on a regular basis, with females consuming less than males (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Alcohol use, 14-29-year-olds, 2001 (percent)

Text equivalent below for Figure 3: Alcohol use, 14-29-year-olds, 2001 (percent)

(Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2001.)Top of page

Text version of Figure 3

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
14-19 year olds %20-29 year olds %
Males - Never consumed a full glass
22
4
Females - Never consumed a full glass
22
4
Males - ?
4
2
Females - ?
3
4
Males - Occasional, less than weekly
41
32
Femals - Occasional, less than weekly
48
46
Males - ?
1
4
Females - ?
1
2

Patterns of alcohol use

Men of all ages drink more alcohol than women. However, young people drink significantly more than the general population.

Figure 4: Amount of alcohol usually consumed: proportion of recent drinkers aged 14-29 years, by age and sex, compared to all ages.

Text equivalent below for Figure 4: Amount of alcohol usually consumed: proportion of recent drinkers aged 14-29 years, by age and sex, compared to all ages.
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Text version of Figure 4
Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Males %Females %
Low risk
28
14
Low to medium risk
29
15
Medium to high risk
42
27
High risk
44
28

Figure 5: Consumption by age and sex

Text equivalent below for Figure 5: Consumption by age and sex

(Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2001.)

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Text version of Figure 5
Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Males %Females %
14-19 years - Abstainee
27
26
20-29 years - Abstainee
64
12
14-19 years - Low
6
10
20-29 years - Low
2
4
14-19 years - Risky
8
60
20-29 years - Risky
77
74
14-19 years - High risk
9
10
20-29 years - High risk
3
3

Where do young people drink?

Brainstorm exercise

Question - What are the most likely places for young people to consume alcohol?

Answer - The top five places where young people consume alcohol are:
  1. at parties
  2. at a friend's house
  3. at home
  4. at licensed premises (e.g. clubs and bars)
  5. in cafes and restaurants.
Young women (14–18-year-olds) are more likely to drink at parties, at clubs, at work and in educational institutions (e.g. universities), than are young males. This suggests a more social aspect to their drinking.

Young men of the same age are more likely to drink at home, in cars and at friend's houses. However, the most common place for both males and females to drink is at parties.

Adults are more likely to consume alcohol at home.
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What do young people drink?

Young men (14-18-year-olds) drink mainly beer and spirits, whilst young women drink a high proportion of pre-mixed drinks such as UDL, coolers and spirits. Young people tend not to drink wine.

Reflection

Task - writing exercise

Question - Do the facts and figures presented in the graphs in this section fit with your experience of working with young people in your area? What similarities exist? What differences can you identify and why might these differences exist?

Question - Many of the statistics indicate that young women are catching up with young men in their use of cigarettes and alcohol. Is this reflected in your work with young people? Can you suggest some reasons why this might be happening?

Question - Over the past 10 years the level of advertising for alcohol and cigarettes has been greatly reduced. Does advertising still have a significant effect on young people? Why?

Brainstorm/group activity

Once you have written down your responses discuss them with your colleagues or in small groups.