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Fewer Welsh teenagers are smoking and drinking

There's a familiar tradition in Wales. Each year our top doctor publishes a report looking at the state of Welsh health, and each year she says we smoke too much, drink too much and eat too much. In short, we need to do more to stay healthy.

Dr Ruth Hussey has been making these arguments since becoming Chief Medical Officer in 2012, but this year there is ground for optimism: the kids are alright.

The number of Welsh teenagers (15 & 16 year olds) smoking or drinking is at record low levels.

  • 8% of boys and 9% of girls smoke
  • 15% of boys and 13% of girls drink weekly
Drinking rates are also coming down for teens Credit: ITV Wales

So why have things changed? Well society has changed. Teenagers are more health focused now than generations before them. They've grown up with the smoking ban and negative images of drinking to excess.

Ruth Hussey wants the rest of us to learn lessons from our teenagers because the rates of poor health due to poor lifestyles are still high.

Welsh bad health habits Credit: Chief Medical Officer's Report

The challenge is changing the habits of a lifetime, and experts say if you start off living a healthy lifestyle, you're likely to stay that way.