Tobacco, alcohol and drug use

• Adolescence is the period of experimentation and rebellion against authority. This is the age when smoking, alcohol drinking and drug use can become established habits. Smoking is quite a problem in Greece, as 60% of men and 45% of women are smokers by the age of 25 years. Over 90% of adult smokers have had their initiative smoking experience during adolescence (age < 19 years). Smoking percentage in Greek high school population was approximately 20.8%, in 1998.


• At the age of 15 years, 67% of adolescents in Europe report that they have been drunk at least twice in their lives. Alcohol abuse is frequently associated with youth violence, unplanned sex and it is a factor (among other drug use) in approximately 41% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the USA.

• According to the1999 Εuropean School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs Report (ΕSPAD), 9% of 16 year old high school students in Greece have used marijuana at least once (11% and 7% for boys and girls respectively). Mean age of first marihuana experience was 14.9 years. Use of other substances is fortunately low in Greece (< 2%).