Young Czechs smoking, drinking less

As their socializing has moved online, young Czechs are smoking and drinking less and also taking fewer drugs, a survey finds.

Every four years since 1995, the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has been focusing on risk behaviour of teenagers aged 15-16. Last year's survey included 35 countries.

According to the data, the share of young Czechs who smoke daily fell from 16.5% to 10% compared to 2015. There are also fewer 16-year-olds who have tried marijuana. Since 2011, their share has decreased from 42% to 28%. However, the popularity of electronic cigarettes is growing among teenagers.

The share of Czech teenagers who drank alcohol in a restaurant or in a club has also fallen, from around 84% in 2007 to 41.5% last year. There was also a significant decrease in the number of those who have bought alcohol in stores.

About 98% of young Czechs are on the Internet at least once a week. In 1995, 43% of teenagers regularly went out with friends - last year, it was only 13%. When at home, young people are less likely to start drinking alcohol, smoking or taking drugs. However, about a tenth of Czech teenagers are at risk of gaming addiction and a third are at risk of social-media addiction.