Tag Archive for: youth

‘In Portugal, every half hour at least one person dies from smoking’

Despite restrictions imposed in recent years, the prevalence of tobacco consumption in Portugal increased from 48% to 51% and that of alcohol consumption from 49% to 56% in the past five years, according to the 5th National Survey on Psychoactive Substance Use in the General population.

Tobacco is the second most widespread psychoactive substance (after alcohol), with about half of the adult population declaring to have smoked at some point in their lives. However, the good news is, that young adults between 15 and 35 don’t seem to be keeping up with the upward trend. In this age group tobacco consumption fell from 37 to 28%, and in girls even to 20%.

More than 80% of the Portuguese consider themselves exposed to tobacco smoke outdoors, a percentage that places Portugal among the EU countries with the highest level of exposure, according to a study by the University of Beira.

These figures come at a time when the government has approved a proposal to amend the Tobacco Law, equating heated tobacco with conventional tobacco, limiting the points of sale and places where smoking is permitted, banning smoking on hospital and school grounds, outside cafés and restaurants and on covered terraces.

Our tobacco law proposal is not prohibitionist’, declared Margarida Tavares, State Secretary for Health in Parliament. ‘What we want is to regulate and help those who want to quit smoking.’ Unfortunately, the definitive elimination of smoking will – according to the proposed law – only come into force in 2030! ‘We’ll give business time to adapt’, she said.

Contrary to a decrease in smoking, alcohol consumption is rising in youngsters. Nine out of ten 18-year-olds say they have taken alcohol in the 12 months prior to a survey carried out by the Addictive Behaviour and Addiction Intervention Service (SICAD). For the first time consumption among girls surpassed that of boys.

Although the prevalence of binge drinking (rapid and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages to reach drunkenness at least once in the last year), has remained stable (around 10% in the general population), more than one-third of the 18-year-olds admitted to having drunk alcohol in a ‘binge’ way in the past 12 months.

Furthermore, the survey points to an significant increase in dependent alcohol consumption (from 2% to 3.5%) in the past five years. ‘We must detect these patients and treat them,’ said Joana Teixeira, a psychiatrist at Lisbon Psychiatric Hospital, to avoid an increase in diseases attributable to alcohol, such as liver cirrhosis, vascular diseases, and certain types of cancer (i.e. breast cancer in women).

But despite the increase in alcoholic consumption, the government maintains its resistance against public health warnings on the labels of alcoholic beverage bottles just like the Republic of Ireland has done. According to the Ministry, such warnings are ‘incompatible’ with EU regulations and against the interest of the national wine sector, since the export of Portuguese wine is worth almost one billion euros per year.

Enjoy your week                   Aproveite a semana      (pic Público/Sapo)

One in three is simply not happy

Although the number of students in higher education has expanded over the last decades, strong social inequalities – in terms of access and dropout rates – persist in Portugal. Even after graduation, the poorest students continue to face a greater risk of unemployment.

These are the main conclusions of the study National and international students in access to higher education carried out by the Belmiro de Azevedo Foundation and published in the daily Público.

Students from a poor socio-economic background are at a disadvantage in accessing higher education and are more likely to attend a polytechnic than a university.

Another alarming finding was that the less favoured the socio-economic context of the students is, the higher the dropout rate. Lack of money is the principal reason here.
Contributions of families to the cost of studies are high in Portugal (32% vs 14% in the average EU member state).

In addition, grants are only awarded to students whose per capita family income is close to the minimum wage. This places many low-income students in a situation of non-eligibility for grants. In fact, last year more than 70% of scholarship applications were not approved.

Another survey amongst youngsters – entitled Young people in Portugal – carried out by the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation and published in the newspaper Expresso, highlights the persistence of low wages and precariousness among Portuguese youth aged 16-34.

Despite the fact that many young people have reached high levels of education, they are profoundly disappointed in finding a secure job with a decent salary. Almost three out of four, receive less than 950 euros per month. A third intend to emigrate. Most still live with their parents and half of those who work, have unstable contracts.
Of the 14% who are unemployed, one in three lost their job during the pandemic.

Psychological well-being is another area on which this survey focuses, with almost one out of four respondents confessing they have been prescribed anxiolytics or antidepressants. Over 15% admit to taking sleeping pills and two out of three feel under considerable social pressure to be successful in their studies or at work.

More than 40% confess to having suffered bullying and/or violence at school, work, or in intimate relationships. Most of these victims are women, a third are men. Roughly half of the Portuguese youngsters consider life to be below their expectations. A third simply say they are not happy!

Enjoy the week                     Aproveite a semana                       (pic Público/sapo)

De emigratie – vooral van jongeren – blijft onverminderd hoog [Diaspora] , de immigratie komt maar niet op gang en er overlijden meer ouderen dan dat er kinderen geboren worden. Worden de Portugezen met uitsterven bedreigd?

Bevolking krimpt

Volgens het nationale bureau voor de statistiek (INE) – is de bevolking de laatste acht jaar steeds verder afgenomen en heeft Portugal in die periode ruim een kwart miljoen van zijn inwoners verloren. Alles wijst erop dat deze afname zich de komende jaren verder zal voortzetten. Over 20 jaar zal – volgens het INE – het aantal inwoners onder de magische grens van 10 miljoen zijn gezakt en over 60 jaar zullen er nog maar 7,5 miljoen Portugezen over zijn!

En vergrijst

Een tweede ontwikkeling is de toegenomen levensverwachting.

Die is – ondanks de economische crisis van de afgelopen jaren – inmiddels opgelopen tot gemiddeld 80 jaar (77 voor mannen en 83 voor vrouwen), met als gevolg vergrijzing.

Sinds 2000 wonen er in Portugal meer bejaarden dan economisch actieve inwoners.
In 2016 waren er voor elke 100 jongeren al 150 bejaarden en als we de voorspellingen mogen geloven, zullen er over 60 jaar voor elke 100 jongeren ruim 300 Portugezen op leeftijd zijn. Of iemand dan nog weet wat het woord pensioen betekent?

Kinderen hebben de toekomst

Gelukkig zien kinderen de toekomst niet zo somber in.

De digitale krant Jornal-i vroeg kinderen in Portugal hoe ze denken dat hun land er over 20 jaar uitziet.

Teresa Rainho
(7 jaar) verwacht dat er dan geen arme mensen meer zullen zijn, geen dieven, geen graffiti en ook geen discussies op straat maar wel genoeg parkeerplaatsen en eten voor iedereen.

Théo Lestable (9) denkt dat Portugal wel een van de armere landen in de wereld zal zijn en dat het er óf heel koud óf heel warm is, waardoor je tussen 11 en 2 niet op straat kunt. Auto’s vliegen en rijken zullen altijd een robot bij zich hebben, die alles voor hen doet.

André Trigo (10) gelooft dat bijna alles beter zal zijn, behalve de enorme hoeveelheid afval. Er zullen geen vuurwapens meer zijn en alle verkeer zal – net als drones –door de lucht vliegen. Mensen zullen minder eten – vooral insecten zoals krekels, kakkerlakken, mieren en sprinkhanen – omdat ze minder energie nodig hebben.

Volgens Inês Jesus (9) hebben alle baby’s een robot, die hun dingen leert en gaan ook bejaarden het beter krijgen. Die hoeven dan niet meer met de bus maar kunnen gebruik maken van speciale lopende banden met leuningen, waaraan ze zich alleen maar vast hoeven te houden om door de stad vervoerd te worden. Helemaal gratis!

[ foto’s Público ]                                                                      Bom fim de semana