Underage drinking drops to lowest recorded levels

The WSTA has welcomed the latest Government statistics which highlight the continued decline in underage drinking to its lowest recorded level. The report released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre into drinking patterns of 11-15 year olds  showed:

  • The number of young people that had tried an alcohol drink had fallen to 38% - the lowest level since the report first recorded this data in 1988 when it was 62%
  • The number of pupils that had drunk in the last week fell to 8% - the lowest since records began in 1988 and a drop of two thirds since its peak in 1996 (25%);
  • The number of pupils that drank at least once a week has dropped to 4% - the lowest since records began in 1988 and one fifth of the highest recorded level in 2001 (20%)

Commenting on the report Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“It is welcome and reassuring news that underage drinking trends are continuing downwards. The number of young people drinking is at its lowest levels since the late 1980s when this information was first collected.

The investment by the drinks industry in initiatives like Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships has helped to contribute to this trend and has helped to change the British culture around the acceptability of underage drinking.

However, we must not – and will not - be complacent. While this is welcome progress there is more to do. Our industry is committed to continued investment in measures that will maintain this trend in the future.”


The full report is available at the following link:

Want to know more? Ask Carlo Gibbs
Carlo Gibbs

Carlo Gibbs - Director of UK Policy & Social Responsibility

Carlo is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the WSTA’s domestic policy work. This includes UK policy development, Government relations, parliamentary engagement in the UK and devolved assemblies, and its wider public affairs program. His remit covers a number of key policy areas including licensing, duty and health. He also leads on the WSTA’s social responsibility work including managing Retail of Alcohol Standards Group and its initiative around responsible retailing, including Challenge 25 and other partnership initiatives aimed at tackling alcohol harm.

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7089 3871

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