A European-wide survey conducted on a four-yearly basis among school students aged 15-16 was released on Tuesday with alarming results for the 35 countries that took part. The survey by ESPAD interviewed 96,000 school students and revealed that while smoking and drinking had decreased there was new concern over the dangers of excessive screen time and new psychoactive drugs while one in eight teenage boys across Europe frequently gamble. In Greece, the gambling rate was more alarming than in other countries, according to the survey of 3,202 students from 175 senior high schools around Greece.
Even though a large number of students said that they had easy access to cigarettes, compared to the European average, there were less 15-16-year-olds who had tried smoking compared to their peers in other European countries. Greek smokers started at a younger age than their European counterparts (13 years).
Teenagers in Greece are more likely to try alcohol. Greece was among the countries with the most young drinkers with the amount of teens having access to alcohol higher than the European average. The starting age for alcohol is very young (under 13 years) – lower than the European average. Teen drunkenness is at the same rate as the European average.
Greece has a lower rate of drug use, though there is a higher rate of sniffing and easier access to tranquilizers and sleeping pills.
Greek teens are near the European average when it comes to internet usage though Greeks spend less time playing internet games, buying and selling things on the internet and surfing, preferring instead to download internet material (movies, applications etc.) more so than their European peers.
Greece has the highest teen gambling rate in Europe with double the amount of 16-year-olds having gambled in the last year either on the internet or elsewhere.