"The survey sample represents an estimated population of around 3.0 million young people aged between 11 and 15 in England. Findings from this survey indicate that in England in 2011 around 140,000 young people aged between 11 and 15 were regular smokers, around 360,000 drank alcohol in the last week, and around 180,000 had taken drugs (including glue, gas and other volatile substances) in the last month.
"Pupils aged 11 to 15 were more likely to have drunk alcohol at least once (45%) than to have tried smoking (25%) or taking drugs (17%). The proportion of pupils who had done at least one of these increased with age from 20% of 11 year olds to 80% of 15 year olds.
"Less than half of pupils who had tried smoking, drinking or drug use had done so recently. 12% of 11 to 15 year olds had drunk alcohol in the last week, 8% had smoked in the last week and 6% had taken drugs in the last month.
"Several factors were strongly associated with smoking, drinking and drug use. If a pupil had done one of these, he or she had an increased likelihood of having done one or both of the others. All three became increasingly prevalent with age. Other characteristics, such as sex and ethnicity, were not consistent predictors of whether pupils were more likely to smoke, drink or take drugs."
Fuller, Elizabeth (Ed.), "Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2011" (London, England: NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, July 26, 2012), p. 11.