Alcohol and tobacco


Focus: Our research focuses on understanding and tackling problems related to consumption, including development and evaluation of policy measures and support for individual behaviour change which help to reduce the burden of ill-health due to excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. We also aim to have generic learning and integration across the two areas of work.


Key research themes

  • Development and evaluation of preventive interventions (particularly brief interventions) to reduce excessive drinking or alcohol-related risk
  • Implementation of screening and brief intervention (SBI) in primary care
  • Evaluation of the ‘real world’ impact of SBI in

    • primary care
    • accident and emergency departments
    • criminal justice settings
  • Development and evaluation of interventions targeting key subgroups

    • pregnant women
    • young people
    • older people
    • minority ethnic groups
    • individuals with chronic health conditions
    • the overweight and obese
  • Evaluation of SBI in new health and social care settings
  • Cross-cutting work on new professional roles
  • Policy evaluation
    • taxation and alcohol
    • current purchasing behaviour of different alcohol consumers
    • the sensitivity to price of different groups of drinkers
    • the economic and socio-structural factors that influence excessive drinking and may be used to reduce alcohol-related risk and harm across the population



Key research themes
Our aims are to understand the causes and consequences of tobacco consumption and develop and evaluate interventions to reduce consumption and impact of tobacco. Our research includes

  • Evaluation of the UK’s first tobacco control office (FRESH North East)

  • Evaluation of Smoke Free England legislation

  • Studies of contraband and counterfeit tobacco sales in the UK and internationally

  • Implementation of stop-smoking services among hard to reach groups, such as

    • socially disadvantaged groups
    • ethnic minorities
    • prison populations
    • mental health patients
    • pregnant women
  • Working closely with a range of new professional roles including

    • health trainers
    • graduate mental health workers
    • ethnic minority community smoking cessation advisors
  • Research to synthesise evidence on the development of culturally competent health promotion interventions, including smoking cessation for ethnic minority groups.