THE youngest alcohol drinkers and tobacco smokers in Spain are in the Valencian Community according to a Health Ministry study.

No reason has been given for why there’s a younger start in Valencia compared to elsewhere.

The survey-prepared as background for a national plan on drugs- says that Valencians start drinking alcohol at the age of 15.9 years, compared to the national average among the 17 regions of 16.5 years.

At the other end of the scale are the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla with 17.3 years.

The Valencian Community has the highest percentage of people who have drunk alcohol at some stage of their lives, coming in at 96.9%.

The region also has the highest number of residents who have had a tipple in a year or in the last month.

The study shows a 2.7 point fall in intensive alcohol consumption in 2022 among people aged between 15 and 64 years of age compared to 2020, with the total now standing on 16.7%.

There’s also been a 2.5 point drop in people drinking booze in ‘botellons’ going from 9.9% in 2020 to 7.4% last year.

In tobacco smoking, the Valencian Community also starts puffing away at the youngest age(16.1 years) in tandem with Castilla y Leon and Navarra.

Like with alcohol, the region also has the largest total of smokers over 12 months or the last four weeks.

In regard to cannabis, Valencia also leads the way, along with Navarra and the Balearic Islands.

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