On September 23, the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (IMSEE) organised a conference regarding a survey that the company carried out in April 2019 as part of ESPAD program (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs). The Principality has participated in the program since 2007. The conference was held at the Novotel Monte Carlo and featured a handful of key speakers, all experts in their respective fields, in order to provide a professional perspective on the topic.

Minister of the Interior Patrice Cellario kicked the discussion off with a welcome to the guests and promptly reminded them of the Principality’s involvement in tackling the fight against addictions. The experts then took to the mic to shed a light on the findings of the survey. Overall, the use of tobacco, cannabis and alcohol has declined between 2007 and 2019 but it was tobacco that saw the greatest fall in popularity among teens today.

However, the use of electronic cigarettes has jumped. The 2019 results show a significant increase in experimentation with electronic cigarettes and their use over the last twelve months by high school students. The most considerable increase in addiction arrives in the form of social media and general internet usage as most high school students spend several hours each day on social media, and this hourly volume increases during weekends and holidays.

The monitoring of these trends aims to constitute an appropriate health management tool which health professionals, teaching staff and indeed parents can utilise to gain a clear view of the situation. With its findings, IMSEE seeks to enable the concerned parties to better understand the mechanisms of addiction. This understanding should also provide them with the knowledge that they need to mitigate and prevent addictive behaviour among adolescents so that they can develop in a healthy manner, both physically and mentally.

A detailed report is available on the IMSEE site here.