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Teenagers to be questioned on bad habits

A wide ranging survey into the extent of teenage drinking, smoking and drug use is about to be launched in the Isle of Man.

School pupils aged 15 and 16 will be asked to fill in questionnaires, as part of a long-term study being carried out across Europe.

It's the third time the Island has been asked to participate in the project, whose findings will help shape future government policy.

Forty countries will take part in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs, known as ESPAD.

The project began in 1995, and has been conducted here twice since then.

Letters will soon by sent to all parents of 15 and 16 year olds in the Island's schools, with questionnaires to be returned by the Easter holidays.

Chief executive at the Department of Education and Children Stuart Dobson says the ESPAD findings help govement and other agencies focus their efforts to reduce smoking, alcohol abuse and illicit drug taking.

The impact of the internet will be looked into this time, with student urged to give honest answers to ensure the statistics are accurate.

A report on the Island's findings will be published later this year.

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