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Pupils "rejecting" drink and drugs

Today's schoolchildren appear to be opting to choose healthier lifestyles than their predecessors, according to a new survey.

However, while the national poll for the Information Centre for health and social care (IC) found that fewer pupils are drinking or using drugs, the number of young smokers remains unchanged.

The number of pupils who said they have never consumed alcohol has risen from 39% in 2003 to 45% in 2006.

And the level of drug use among those questioned has fallen, with 17% reporting taking drugs in the last year, down from 20% in 2001.

The number of pupils who have never smoked stands at 61%, while those who smoke at least once a week remains steady at 9% since 2003.

Tim Straughan, acting chief executive for the IC, said: "The report shows that more schoolchildren are choosing a cleaner lifestyle and are abstaining from drink and drugs. This is good news for the health of young people.

"However, the figures also reveal that drinking, drugs and smoking continue to play an important role in the lives of a significant number of young people."

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Information Centre for health and social care