HEDS colleagues Professor Alan Brennan, Dr Duncan Gillespie and Colin Angus are to provide Economic and health impact evidence synthesis to inform policy and practice decisions for the The SPECTRUM Consortium.


SPECTRUM aims to produce research that can rise to this challenge. This research will be used by our partners outside of academia, who will be active members of SPECTRUM, to make the case for effective policy and practice to improve health and address inequalities in the UK and further afield.

Dr Gillespie said: "I'm very excited to be developing our modelling work to support decisions on policies that might help to prevent non-communicable diseases and help to reduce health inequalities across the UK"


The SPECTRUM Consortium is led by Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh and for the last 10 years has been the deputy director of UKCTAS. Co-investigators and collaborators from 10 Universities in the UK and one in Australia are included. In addition, the Consortium brings together leading alliances that aim to improve health and reduce inequalities in the UK and further afield, along with Public Health England, Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and two independent companies specialising in statistical modelling and retail data.

SPECTRUM will aim to conduct research to prevent and address harm to health from unhealthy commodities by using systems science to identify and evaluate solutions. The focus of the new Consortium will be the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, continuing UKCTAS’s work at the population level on tobacco and alcohol, but also extending to unhealthy food and drink products where appropriate. The research will be organised around 8 inter-related Work Packages involving new research, along with knowledge exchange, impact and public engagement activities.

Objectives for the Sheffield work:

• Develop new evidence on the impacts of alcohol and tobacco, their associated diseases, and prevention policies on the wider economy – including: consumers’ work productivity, employment and early retirement; revenue to retailers; gains and losses in different sectors of the UK economy; direct and indirect tax revenues to government; and public sector costs from healthcare, social care and crime;

• To develop and extend the Sheffield Tobacco and Alcohol Policy Model (STAPM) for England to analyse the economic and health impacts of changes in use of alcohol and/or tobacco on a wide range of outcomes; and produce new versions for both Wales and Scotland, thus enabling between-country comparisons;

• Undertake translational work with collaborators in food systems to explore how economic methods in alcohol and tobacco could be of use in complex

The Sheffield Tobacco and Alcohol Policy Model (STAPM) for England was developed via UKCTAS, extending previously-developed methods to assess the effects of alcohol minimum unit pricing to model the impacts of tax policies on tobacco and alcohol. The model estimates the effects of such policies on consumer spending, morbidity and mortality from 52 diseases, and evaluates impacts on health inequalities, costs to the NHS, and government tax revenue. We will draw on existing datasets, results from systematic reviews, and new evidence to update this model for England and to develop new models for Scotland and Wales.


More information is available on UKCTAS.net/SPECTRUM