You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Smart kids more likely to smoke cannabis

Press Association logoPress Association 23/02/2017

Bright children are more likely to drink and smoke cannabis in their teenage years, a new study has found.

High academic achievement at the age of 11 has been linked to a lower risk of smoking in adolescence but smarter pupils were also more likely to drink alcohol and smoke cannabis, a study published in the journal BMJ Open says.

Experts examined data for more than 6059 young people across England.

Information was gathered on their academic achievement at age 11 and collated with health behaviours from age 13/14 to 16/17 - deemed to be early adolescence - and from age 18/19 to 19/20, which are classed as late adolescence.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, found that during their early teens, high-achieving pupils were less likely to smoke cigarettes than their less gifted peers but were more likely to drink alcohol during this period.

During their late teens, brainy children were more than twice as likely to drink alcohol regularly and persistently than those who were not as clever.

Meanwhile, clever pupils were 50 per cent more likely to use cannabis occasionally and nearly twice as likely to use it persistently than their less gifted peers.

They found that these patterns persisted into adulthood and would seem to refute the notion that academic prowess was associated with a greater tendency to "experiment" temporarily with these substances.

More From Press Association

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon