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Rate Of Underage Drinking Falls To Lowest Level Since Records Began

A sustained decline in underage drinking has been welcomed by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Figures released today by the ONS and HCSIC reveal the rate of underage drinking has fallen to the lowest level since 1988, when records first began.

The 2013 ‘Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England’ annual survey found that:

* 39% of pupils said they had drunk alcohol at least once. This continues the downward trend since 2003, when 61% of pupils had drunk alcohol, and is lower than at any time since 1988, when the survey first measured the prevalence of drinking in this age group.

* 9% of pupils had drunk alcohol in the last week. This proportion has fallen from 25% in 2003.

Commenting on the latest figures, WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale said:

“The fall in underage drinking represents a sustained, long-term trend, which is welcomed by the industry. Young people are now drinking less, and those that do, are drinking less frequently.

The rollout of industry-led initiatives like Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships, which are targeted at reducing underage sales of alcohol and tackling underage drinking, are clearly having a positive impact.

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