Sports, alcohol and smoking

The Young in Norway Study includes a variety of questions on use of alcohol and drugs, and substance use is one of the areas where we provided new knowledge about patterns and development of use over time. One of the topics we have highlighted is how participation in sports is related to drug use. Around half the participants in the study were active in organized sport while growing up.

The figure shows the relationship between participation in sports, use of alcohol and daily smoking at age 20. The figure shows that those active in sports more often drank to the point of intoxication, but were more seldom smokers. Perhaps, the social environment of organized sports tends to lead to a higher number of people drinking alcohol? And do young people who are active in sports smoke less because they fear that smoking will affect their stamina and general health?

About 25 percent of the participants were daily smokers at the age of 20. Today there are much fewer who smoke. In 2010 we conducted another study among young people which showed that less than 8 percent were daily smokers today. The 2004 smoking ban in Norway is likely an important factor in causing this decline.

Sports, alcohol smoking figure 1