PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT ALBANY

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE AT 6:00A.M. EST, FEBRUARY 20, 2001. NOTE TO EDITORS These results will be presented today (Tuesday, February 20, 2001) at a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Stockholm, and are now being simultaneously released in the 30 participating European countries and in the United States. Headline A multi-national study of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use released today finds important differences between high school students in 30 European countries and in the United States. The findings suggest that cigarette smoking and alcohol use is less prevalent among 10th grade students in the United States than in almost all European countries. The lifetime use of marijuana and other illicit drugs in the United States is higher than in any European country. The study The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD) is a coordinated set of school surveys, coordinated by sociologist Bjorn Hibell at the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and other Drugs. This second ESPAD study was conducted in 1999 among approximately 95,000 students in 10th grade in the 30 participating countries. The survey in each country is representative of the national 10th grade student population, with the exception of the survey in Russia being representative of the capital of Moscow. The 1999 ESPAD report is available upon request (362 pages). Comparison with the United States The Monitoring the Future (MTF) study has been conducted at the University of Michigan for the past 26 years under the sponsorship of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. In 1999, this nationally representative study elicited information on tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use among 14,000 10th grade students in the United States. The European ESPAD study was specifically developed to be comparable to the MTF study in the United States. The principal investigator of the American study, social psychologist Lloyd Johnston, states, “ Having survey data which can be meaningfully compared across countries is very rare in the substance abuse field. ESPAD is by far the largest such undertaking to date, and I believe it will prove very valuable both to policy makers and scientists in a great many countries.” Key findings • Cigarette smoking in past 30 days. The MTF study finds that 26% of 10th grade students in the United States had smoked at least one cigarette in the past 30 days. The ESPAD survey finds that an average of 37% of 10th grade students in the 30 participating European countries had smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days (39% in Northern Europe, 33% in Southern Europe and 38% in Eastern Europe) This proportion varies among European countries from 16% in Cyprus to 67% in the Greenland. Cyprus and Romania were the only European countries that had a lower 30-day rate of cigarette smoking than did the United States. (See Figure 1 and Figure 2 for details). Alcohol use in past 30 days. The MTF study finds that 40% of 10th grade students in the United States had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The ESPAD survey finds that an average of 61% of 10th grade students in the 30 participating European countries had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days (62% in Northern Europe, 63% in Southern Europe and 58% in Eastern Europe). This proportion varies among European countries from 36% in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to 85% in Denmark. FYROM was the only European country that had a lower rate than the United States. (See Figure 3 and Figure 4 for details).

Lifetime use of marijuana/cannabis. The MTF study finds that in 1999 41% of 10th grade students in the United States had used marijuana or cannabis in their lifetimes. The ESPAD survey finds that an average of 17% of 10th grade students in the 30 participating European countries had ever used marijuana or cannabis (19% in Northern Europe, 14% in Southern Europe and 16% in Eastern Europe) This proportion varies among European countries from 1% in Romania to 35% in the Czech Republic, France and the United Kingdom. All the participating European countries had a lower rate of lifetime cannabis use than did the United States. (See Figure 5 and Figure 6 for details). Use of any illicit drug other than marijuana. The MTF study finds that 23% of 10th grade students in the United States had some illicit drug other than marijuana in their lifetimes. The ESPAD survey finds that an average of 6% of 10th grade students in the 30 participating European countries had used some illicit drug other than marijuana in their lifetimes (6% in Northern Europe, 5% in Southern Europe, and 7% in Eastern Europe). This proportion varies among European countries from 2% in Cyprus and Finland to 12% in the United Kingdom. All the participating European countries had a lower rate of lifetime use of illicit drugs other than marijuana than did the United States. (See Figure 7 and Figure 8 for details). Lifetime use of specific illicit drugs other than marijuana. The MTF study finds that 16% of 10th grade students in the United States have used amphetamines, 10% have used LSD or other hallucinogens, 8% have used cocaine, 6% have used ecstasy, and 4% have used crack. The ESPAD survey finds the corresponding average figures for 10th grade students in the participating countries to be 2% for amphetamines, 2% for LSD and other hallucinogens, 1% for cocaine, 1% for ecstasy and 1% for crack. The highest European rates of amphetamine use were found to be 8% in the United Kingdom and 7% in both Estonia and Poland. The highest European rates of hallucinogen use were found to be 5% in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Czech Republic, and 4% in Moscow. The highest European rates of cocaine use were found to be 3% in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The highest European rates of ecstasy use were found to be 6% in Latvia and 5% in Ireland. The rate of crack use was found to be 2% or less in all the European countries. The proportion of students reporting having ever injected any drug was quite low in all countries. The only countries with a rate of drug injection over 1% were Russia (2%) and the United States (3%).

Further information Further information on the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs will be provided by Thor Bjarnason. Thor Bjarnason is Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY-Albany and Research Fellow at the Icelandic Center for Social Research and Analysis in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is the principal investigator of the Icelandic ESPAD survey, member of the steering board of the ESPAD project from 1993, and co-author of the 1999 ESPAD report. Thor Bjarnason, PhD, Department of Sociology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222. Tel.: (518) 442 4672 Fax: (518) 442 4936 E-mail: thor@albany.edu Questions regarding the Monitoring the Future study in the United States should be directed to Lloyd Johnston, PhD, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48106. Tel. (734) 763-5043. Fax (734) 936-0043. E-mail: lloydj@umich.edu.

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

45
Percentage

40 35 30
26

39 37 33 38

25 20 15 10 5 0
UNITED STATES EUROPE Northern Europe Southern Europe Eastern Europe

Figure 1 Proportion of 10th grade students who report smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days by region

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Cyprus Romania United States Iceland Slovenia Sweden Portugal Malta Estonia Poland United Kingdom Greece The Netherlands Hungary Slovak Republic Ireland F.Y.R.O.M. Denmark Croatia Ukraine Norway Lithuania Latvia Italy Faroe Islands Finland France Czech Republic Russia (Moscow) Bulgaria Greenland 0 10

16 24 26 28 29 30 31 32 32 33 34 35 36 36 37 37 37 38 38 40 40 40 40 40 41 43 44 44 45 50 67 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percentage 80

Figure 2 Proportion of 10th grade students who report smoking cigarettes in past 30 days by country

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Percentage

70 61 60 50 40 40 30 20 10 0
UNITED STATES EUROPE Northern Europe Southern Europe Eastern Europe

62

63 58

Figure 3 Proportion of 10th grade students who report any alcohol consumption in the past 30 days by region

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

F.Y.R.O.M. United States Iceland Croatia Faroe Islands Portugal Hungary Italy Romania Norway Ukraine Sweden Bulgaria Latvia Greenland Slovak Republic France Poland Finland Cyprus Slovenia Estonia Russia (Moscow) The Netherlands Lithuania Ireland Malta United Kingdom Greece Czech Republic Denmark

36 40 43 46 48 49 51 54 55 55 56 56 57 58 59 60 60 61 61 61 62 62 63 66 73 74 75 76 77 77 85 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent 90

Figure 4 Proportion of 10th grade students who report any alcohol consumption in past 30 days by country

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Percentage

45 41 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
UNITED STATES EUROPE Northern Europe Southern Europe Eastern Europe

19 17 14 16

Figure 5 Proportion of 10th grade students who report ever having used marijuana/cannabis by region

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Romania Cyprus Malta Faroe Islands Sweden Portugal F.Y.R.O.M. Greece Finland Hungary Norway Lithuania Bulgaria Estonia Poland Iceland Croatia Latvia Slovak Republic Ukraine Russia (Moscow) Greenland Denmark Slovenia Italy The Netherlands Ireland United Kingdom France Czech Republic United States 0

1 2 7 7 8 8 8 9 10 11 12 12 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 22 23 24 25 25 28 32 35 35 35 41 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Percent 45

Figure 6 Proportion of 10th grade students who report ever having used marijuana/cannabis by country

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Percentage

25

23

20

15

10 7 6 5 6 5

0
UNITED STATES EUROPE Northern Europe Southern Europe Eastern Europe

Figure 7 Proportion of 10th grade students who have used any illicit drug other than marijuana/cannabis in their lifetime by region

European Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)

Finland 2 Cyprus 2 Sweden 3 Malta 3 Faroe Islands 3 F.Y.R.O.M. 3 Ukraine 4 Greenland 4 Greece 4 Slovak Republic Iceland Hungary France Bulgaria Portugal Norway Croatia Slovenia Denmark Italy Russia (Moscow) Romania Lithuania Ireland Estonia Czech Republic Poland Latvia United Kingdom United States The Netherlands Data not available 0 5

5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 11 11 12 24

10

15

20

25 30 Percentage

Figure 8 Proportion of 10th grade students who have used any illicit drug other than marijuana/cannabis in their lifetime by country