Fewer children are smoking, drinking and using cannabis, according to research launched by the Department of Health.

The HBSC Ireland Trends Report 1998–2010, carried out by NUI Galway, found a significant drop in the numbers of school-aged children admitting to smoking.

The survey found that in 2010, 12% of children said they were smoking. This compared to 21% in 1998.

The drop in those who said they had been drunk was much smaller however, with 28% admitting this in 2010 - whereas 29% said this in 1998.

Those who said they had used cannabis was 8%, compared with 10% in 2008.

Meanwhile, seat-belt wearing doubled to 82% over the same period.