A new survey shows that 87 percent of deaths in the Northern Marianas are due to the excess consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.
A recently updated Epidemiological Profile shows the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs are the main underlying causes of deaths, traffic accidents, injuries and criminality.
The survey shows that one in five criminal offences are alcohol-related, though the number of offences has fallen in the past two years measured, 2006 and 2007.
The report also shows that during academic year 2006-2007, about 64 percent of the 536 suspensions and infractions in public schools were due to betel nut chewing, followed by tobacco, at 22 percent.
Drug and alcohol use were also significant problems in schools.
The report says the Department of Public Safety noted that 92 percent of juveniles arrested were under the influence of alcohol.
Meanwhile the Alcohol, Beverage and Tobacco Control Division has indicated there will be increases in the taxes and fines attached to alcohol and tobacco purchase and use.