One in 10 teenage boys have gambled online, survey shows

The Trimbos addiction institute conducted a survey on teenage addiction and mental health, revealing concerning trends among Dutch youth. The survey, which was conducted every four years, found that more than 11% of boys aged 10 to 16 admitted to gambling online, despite the legal age being 18. This figure is significantly higher than the 1.9% of girls who admitted to the same behavior.

Researcher Tony van Rooij expressed concern over these findings, stating that every teenager who gambles online before the age of 18 is one too many. Teenagers often circumvent age checks by using someone else’s account or accessing illegal websites based abroad.

Another issue highlighted in the survey is the increasing popularity of vaping among youngsters. Approximately 8% of primary school children have tried vaping, and 14.3% of teenagers reported vaping in the last month, with 4% of them vaping daily. The daily smoking rate among teenagers has remained steady at around 2.2%, with 8.5% smoking in the last month.

Contrary to popular belief, the survey found that youngsters who vape are just as likely to smoke cigarettes. The use of laughing gas has decreased, however, from 6.7% in 2019 to 2% in 2023. This decrease may be due to the ban on the sale and possession of laughing gas, as well as increased awareness of the physical consequences of its use.

The survey findings underscore the need for continued efforts to address substance use among Dutch youth and to provide education and support to prevent addiction. DutchNews.nl relies on the generous support of its readers to continue providing Dutch news and analysis. If you appreciate our work, please consider making a donation.

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