Compared to their peers, higher academic achievers are also more likely to drink alcohol regularly, but they are less likely to smoke tobacco.
A landmark study has revealed, that due to their curious minds, clever children are twice as likely to smoke cannabis during their teenage years.
A nine-year study by University College London has found that students who are high academic achievers at the age of 11 are also more likely to drink alcohol as teenagers, but less likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes.
Data for 6,059 young people from state-funded and fee-paying schools in England has been analyzed, making experts reach the conclusion that bright children less likely to smoke cigarettes as teenagers but more likely to smoke cannabis.
This is probably due to middle-class parents warning their children of the dangers of tobacco and smoking traditional cigarettes.
Clever Children are more naturally curios:
The study, which was published in the BMJ Open journal, stated that clever children are more likely to smoke weed at ages 18-20 (late teenage years) because they have a stronger desire to be accepted by older peers and are more curious.
Researchers added that children are initially cautious of illegal substances in early adolescence as they are more aware of the immediate and long-term repercussions that breaking the law may incur than those with lower academic ability.
Smart teens, during their late teens, were also more than twice as likely to drink alcohol regularly and persistently than those who did not achieve higher grades. Researchers said that high childhood academic at age 11 is associated with a reduced risk of cigarette smoking but an increased risk of drinking alcohol regularly and cannabis use. These associations persist into early adulthood, providing evidence against the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary ‘experimentation’ with substance use.”
There has been a general downward trend in smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol among teenagers, according to Dr James Williams from UCL Medical School.
He said in a statement that these risky health behaviors present a large problem in terms of public health as substance use is a risk factor for immediate and long-term health problems, as well as negative non-health outcomes such as poor educational and employment outcomes and that the outcomes of cannabis use were found to be worsened by early onset and increased frequency of use.
“Understanding the risk factors for adolescent substance use can inform public health policymaking and help target interventions for those in high-risk groups,” he added.