Young people who experiment with smoking, alcohol and drugs are more likely to continue these habits into later life, with impacts on their physical and mental health. We also look at conception rates in teenage women.
Smoking in young people
Early smoking initiation is linked to risk of cancer and mortality later in life. The number of regular young smokers is largely decreasing, though some young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes.
Alcohol and drug use in young people
Over time, fewer young people in the UK have gotten drunk and experimented with cannabis, though recently there are signs that this trend is slowing and reversing.
Conceptions in young people
Teenage pregnancy is associated with poor outcomes for young women and their children. Encouragingly, conception rates among 15-17 year olds are decreasing across the UK.