Dr Brown completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge in 2010 and worked as a post-doctoral research associate within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL until 2013 when he was appointed a fellow of the Society for Study of Addiction in the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL. The fellowship allowed him to expand his research interests beyond tobacco to include alcohol misuse, and his fellowship research aims to assess and mitigate the impact of excessive alcohol consumption on public health in England. A key aspect of this involves establishing the Alcohol Toolkit Study (ATS) in collaboration with colleagues funded by NIHR’s School for Public Health Research. The ATS and the long-established Smoking Toolkit Study (STS; www.smokinginengland.info) involve the same respondents and will thereby allow the assessment of associations between alcohol and tobacco use and corresponding time trends.
‘The Alcohol Toolkit Study’: a national study of alcohol use in England
The Alcohol Toolkit Study (ATS) is a monthly household survey of representative samples of the adult population in England that aims to provide insight into population-wide influences on alcohol consumption and related behaviour. Since 2014, the survey has collected data from over 50,000 people on alcohol consumption and related harm (AUDIT), beverage type and expenditure, exposure to brief intervention, attempts and motivation to reduce consumption, and use of aids and motives for cutting down. The ATS is the sister survey to the Smoking Toolkit Study, which means the same respondents also provide data on a range of sociodemographic and smoking characteristics. The project is a collaborative effort between six centres across England and the data have been used for a variety of purposes. This talk will introduce the survey and briefly highlight findings from three separate studies that aimed i) to compare the prevalence and characteristics of people who smoke or drink excessively and who receive a brief intervention, ii) to assess whether smokers who recently attempted to quit are more likely than other smokers to report lower alcohol consumption or a recent attempt to cut down, and iii) to evaluate the short-term effect of announcing revised lower risk drinking guidelines on related awareness and knowledge.