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Children (Smoking)

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 11 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the latest Government statistical information available on the prevalence of children who smoke; and what trend these figures reflect.

The latest information is contained in the report entitled "Smoking among secondary school children in England in 1988" prepared by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1989 (ISBN 0 11 691267 7). The report, which is in the Library, shows that in 1988, 7 per cent. of first to fifth form boys (mainly aged 11–15) and 9 per cent. of first to fifth form girls smoked at least one cigarette per week. This represents a welcome decline in smoking prevalence among 11 to 15-year-olds since 1984 when 13 per cent. of boys and girls smoked at least one cigarette per week.