Teens Who Use Social Networking Sites More Likely to Smoke, Drink

Sept. 1, 2011
Survey says users of Facebook and other social sites more likely to smoke and drink.

Seventy percent of U.S. teens from age 12 to 17 spend time on Facebook or other social networking sites on a typical day, and those who do are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, a survey says.

The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse, conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, found those who identified themselves as regular users of social media sites—about 17 million teens—were five times more likely than non-users to use tobacco; three times more likely to use alcohol; and twice as likely to use marijuana.

The survey also found that 40 percent of all teens surveyed have seen pictures on social networking sites of kids getting drunk, passed out or using drugs. Those students, too, are at greater risk of using alcohol or marijuana.

"The time has come for those who operate and profit from social networking sites like Facebook to deploy their technological expertise to curb such images and to deny use of their sites to children and teens who post pictures of themselves and their friends drunk, passed out or using drugs," says Joseph A. Califano Jr., CASA Columbia’s Founder and Chairman.

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