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Swiss survey: smoking and drugs aren’t ‘cool’ – but drinking still is

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Swiss survey: smoking and drugs aren’t ‘cool’ – but drinking still is
Photo: anclave/Depositphotos
12:44 CET+01:00
Young people in Switzerland are increasingly rejecting smoking and drugs, but still enjoy drinking alcohol, according to a new survey.
The online survey by newspaper 20 Minutes questioned 19,233 young people aged 14 to 24 during December.
 
It found that 60 percent of respondents never smoked cigarettes and only 23 percent said they smoked every day. 
 
More than half said smoking wasn’t considered an attractive thing to do. 
 
Questioned about cannabis, 71 percent said they never smoked joints, and 53 percent said pot-smokers weren’t considered cool.
 
Hard drugs, including ecstasy, MDMA and cocaine, were considered uncool by 81 percent of respondents. 
 
However the picture was rather different when it came to alcohol, with only 21 percent of young people saying they never drank, and 71 percent saying drinking was a cool thing to do. 
 
Speaking to the paper, psychologist Christian Fichter said smoking didn’t fit with the current trend among young people to live a healthy life. 
 
“Someone who wants to be cool eats well, does sport and doesn’t take drugs,” he said, but noted that drinking was clearly an exception.
 
“In contrast with smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation is relaxing and has a social side,” he said.
 
According to Swiss Addiction, alcohol is “anchored in Swiss culture” and 80 percent of people aged over 15 drink regularly. 
 
Although alcohol consumption in Switzerland has dropped since the 1980s, a recent study showed that a fifth of the population over 15 drink too much alcohol or too often, a statistic that is on the rise in the 20-24 age group. 
 
However the last survey carried out by HSBC for Addiction Suisse in 2014 showed that both alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking among young people aged 11 to 15 had reduced since the previous survey four years earlier.
 
In 2014, 6.6 percent of 15-year-old boys and 6.4 percent of their female peers said they smoked daily.
 
As for cannabis, 19.2 percent of 15-year-old girls and 30.1 percent of boys said they had smoked pot before, around half in the month preceding the survey.
 
But those figures constituted a fall back to 1998 levels, after a significant rise in cannabis consumption among young people between 1986 and 2002.

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