During Their Early Teens, High-scoring Pupils Were Less Likely To Smoke Cigarettes And More Likely To Drink Alcohol Than Their Peers With Lower Test Scores.

In the United Kingdom , the drinking age is 18, though teens who are 16 or 17 and accompanied by an adult can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal. The news was good overall, but why certain teens use drugs remains unclear. Wanting to understand more, Williams and Hagger-Johnson surveyed more than 6,000 students from public and private schools across England. Using questionnaires, they regularly tracked each student’s use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis from age 13 or 14 until age 19 or 20. Williams and Hagger-Johnson used national test scores taken at age 11 to rank students academically. Some of their results provided no surprises. During their early teens, high-scoring pupils were less likely to smoke cigarettes and more likely to drink alcohol than their peers with lower test scores. At this time, they were slightly more likely to say they used cannabis. During their late teens, pupils with the highest scores were more than twice as likely to drink alcohol regularly compared with others, yet they also showed themselves to have less of Green Rush a tendency to binge-drink. During this same period in their lives, the academically gifted students proved nearly twice as likely to use cannabis persistently and 50% more likely to use it occasionally compared with their peers with lower test scores.

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