July 29, 2013
Young Cannabis-Smokers Aware Of The Health Risks
91 percent of on average 20-year-old Swiss men drink alcohol, almost half of whom drink six beverages or more in a row and are thus at-risk consumers. 44 percent of Swiss men smoke tobacco, the majority of whom are at-risk consumers â they smoke at least once a day. 36 percent of young adults smoke cannabis, whereby over half are at-risk consumers, using the drug at least twice a week. Researchers from the University of Zurich's Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine investigated whether these young Swiss men read up on addictive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or other drugs and are aware and understand the risks of their consumption by conducting a survey of 12,000 men under a national cohort study as they were recruited for national service.
Those who consume more likely to seek information
Over 70 percent of the men surveyed who consume addictive substances and especially the at-risk consumers rate their knowledge of the health consequences of alcohol, tobacco or cannabis consumption as very good, thereby reporting their knowledge as better than abstainers in this respect. Men from the Suisse romande (French-speaking Switzerland) and high school graduates rate their knowledge of the health risks of excessive consumption as slightly better than German-speaking Swiss and men with a lower level of education.
Information as prevention comes up short
Prevention campaigns that are designed to open young people's eyes to the risks of addictive substances and deter them are normally based on providing information. "Information alone, however, is insufficient as a preventive measure. It needs differentiated approaches for informed consumers," says Mohler-Kuo. Consequently, media campaigns for the prevention of substance abuse should be viewed with a critical eye. "It is important to examine and develop preventive measures that take the competence of well-informed young people and young adults into account."
On the Net: