The conclusions can be found in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD), which makes it possible to monitor European trends as regards the development of addictive behavior among young people.

Comparing the latest data for 2019 with the 2015 study, the report shows a decrease of three percentage points in traditional tobacco consumption in line with the European trend.

Also decreasing was the consumption of electronic tobacco, which fell in Portugal by five percentage points over the same period, more than the European average (which fell by two percentage points), and Portugal is the country with the second lowest consumption of this type of cigarette.

Compared to the European average, the results show falls in the consumption not only of tobacco, but also of illicit drugs and alcohol, but, in the opposite direction, Portugal recorded a slight increase in alcohol consumption, reversing the downward path it had been following since 2007.

Between 2015 and 2019, the percentage of 16-year-old students who ingested at least one alcoholic beverage during their lifetime increased from 71 percent to 77 percent and the prevalence of ‘binge’ consumption (a large quantity on the same occasion) also increased.

Despite the increase, the country remains below the European average for the prevalence of alcohol consumption in the last 30 days, the prevalence of drunkenness also in the last 30 days and ‘binge drinking’, while it stands out in the choice of drinks.

After Spain, Portugal is the second country where most young people have chosen distilled drinks over beer, wine, cider or alcopops the last time they drank, with the quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion being the tenth highest among the 35 countries.

The country also stands out on the negative side for its early alcohol consumption, as “the percentage of 16-year-olds who started drinking at age 13 or younger is considerably higher than the European average”. On the other hand, there are fewer who got drunk so early.

Regarding other addictive behaviours, more than half of Portuguese young people, who are among those who spend the most time on social networks at the weekend, admitted having had problems with the use of the Internet on social networks and 24 percent in online games.