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WHO reports: youth use of e-cigarettes has surpassed traditional cigarettes


According to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Scotland has the highest rate of cannabis use among 15-year-old boys in the world.

The study found that almost a quarter (23%) of Scottish 15-year-old boys surveyed said they had tried the Class B drug - cannabis.

The WHO-sponsored study is the largest to date, involving 280,000 11 -, 13 - and 15-year-olds from 44 countries. The survey also shows that underage smoking is a bigger problem in the UK than in many other countries.

The survey asked minors living in Europe, Central Asia and Canada about their use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis, and found that children in Scotland and Wales were more likely to use cannabis than in many other countries. These two countries rank among the top five in the world. Of the 4,000 Scottish teenagers surveyed, 23 per cent of 15-year-old boys said they had smoked cannabis, compared with 16 per cent of girls of the same age. Girls in Canada have the highest rate of marijuana use in the world, at 25 percent.

Dr Jo Inchley, of the University of Glasgow, said the high ranking of Scottish boys in the study was "worrying".

"Compared to other countries, Scotland had the highest rate of cannabis use among 15-year-old boys throughout the study. This is worrying. Despite these declines we have seen, our numbers are still relatively high compared to other countries, "he said.

At the same time, the study found that e-cigarette use in the UK is higher than average compared to other countries, with two in five 15-year-olds in England having used an e-cigarette. In Scotland, 40% of 15-year-old girls surveyed said they had used e-cigarettes, compared to 33% of boys.

The report confirms that e-cigarette use has surpassed cigarette use in most countries, with nearly one in 10 11-year-olds saying they have used e-cigarettes at least once, while by age 15, e-cigarette use rises to 26 percent for boys and 40 percent for girls.

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