Jul 3, 2008

Lifestyle - US Leads !

WASHINGTON: The US leads the world in rates of experimenting with marijuana and cocaine despite strict drug laws, World Health Organisation researchers said on Tuesday. Countries with looser drug laws have lower rates of abuse, the researchers report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine . The survey of 54,000 people in 17 countries found that 16% of people in the US had used cocaine in their lifetimes — far higher than the next highest rate, found in New Zealand, where 4.3% of people reported having used cocaine. More than 42% of Americans admitted to having tried cannabis, closely followed by 41% in New Zealand, Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and colleagues found. Americans were also the most likely to have smoked, with 74% saying they used tobacco at some time in their lives, although current smoking rates are far lower at 21%. The next-highest lifetime smoking rate was found in Lebanon at 67% with 60% of Mexicans and 61% of Ukrainians having ever smoked. Alcohol was by far the most common substance used, the researchers found in their interviews with people. By the age of 21, up to 99% of Europeans, 92% of Japanese, 94% of New Zealanders and 93% of people in the US had tasted alcohol. The researchers said their findings shed light on drug, alcohol and smoking policy

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