Smoking at school is out of fashion

Just 8% of second year pupils at secondary schools in Limburg smoke, compared with 22% in 1996, according to Maastricht University research quoted by the Volkskrant on Thursday.

The results are based on multi-year research involving 25,000 pupils. ‘It would appear that smoking is slowly no longer being thought of as cool at school,’ researcher Onno van Schayck told the paper. ‘Youngsters in this age group like to hang out with the biggest, most-influential majority group. And it seems smokers are not among them.’
Some 28% of the Dutch population at large smoke, and nine out of 10 started around their 15th year. Second year high school pupils are aged 13 to 14.
The decline has also been measured among older children. The number of smokers in the fourth year of school has fallen from 38% to 22%, the research, which is based on health department figures, shows. The trend is apparent across all school types, Van Schayck told the paper.
The sale of cigarettes to the under-16s has been banned since 2003 and schools have cracked down hard on smoking over the past 10 years, the Volkskrant says.

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