Home > The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018.

Kolto, Andras and Gavin, A and Molcho, Michal and Kelly, C and Walker, L and Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse (2020) The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018. Dublin: Department of Health and National University of Ireland, Galway.

PDF (The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018)

This report presents data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out in 2018 in the Republic of Ireland. This is the sixth time that data of this kind have been collected from young people across the Republic of Ireland; previous surveys were conducted in 2014, 2010, 2006, 2002 and 1998.


In the 2018 survey a total of 15,557 children aged from 8 to 18 years old from a representative sample of 255 primary and post-primary schools across the country responded to a self-completion questionnaire on a wide range of issues including health behaviours, health outcomes and the contexts of health.


The good news is that there are fewer children reporting substance use. There are lower rates of cigarette smoking, alcohol and cannabis use in 2018 than there were in 2014. We report for the first time on e-cigarette use and note that it is about twice as common as tobacco smoking. Children aged 12 to 17 years who had ever drunk alcohol were asked where they sourced and consumed alcohol. The most common reported source of alcohol is a parent or guardian, followed by a friend and then by giving someone else money to buy it for them. The most common location for consumption is in someone else’s home, followed by their own home and then at a pub or bar.

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