WS1 - Behaviour and risks

We assess the determinants and risks to individuals and society as a result of tobacco and alcohol use, and examine how current theorisation of tobacco use and behaviour can be applied to alcohol.

This workstream is led by Professor Marcus Munafo in Bristol and Professor Matt Field in Liverpool, with research groups based in Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham, Stirling and UCL. The research aims to improve understanding of the key drivers of smoking and harmful use of alcohol. UKCTAS investigators have developed the Behaviour Change Wheel ( and PRIME theory ( to describe the process of behaviour change.

A large proportion of the research involves the use of existing datasets, without the need for primary data collection. Some of the datasets are listed below. Additionally, some innovative methodology is used, of which a selection is shown below.

Existing datasets

  • Use of ALSPAC and Health Improvement Network (THIN) datasets, population level models to inform policy planning and identify key targets for intervention 
  • Using 1958, 1970 and Millennium cohorts, and THIN data, to explore trajectories of smoking and alcohol behaviour, and other conduct problems
  • Explore the health impacts of maternal smoking
  • Measuring the impact of retail (point of sale) displays

 Innovative methodology

  • Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to examine associations between differing states of disinhibition and alcohol  consumption
  • Social network analysis
  • Exploration of norms in different social groups
  • Social neuroscience methods, including eye tracking and functional Magetic Resonance Imaging (brain scan) technology


Prof Matt Field - University of Liverpool


Prof Marcus Munafo - University of Bristol 

telephone: 0151 794 1124 

telephone: 0117 954 6841