The Alcohol Toolkit Study: Tracking key performance indicators of alcohol consumption in England

What are the aims of this project?
The project aims to create the ‘Alcohol Toolkit Study’ (ATS), a monthly household survey which will provide evidence about the impact of national policy initiatives and campaigns on the population, and how this varies according to socio-demographic characteristics.

 Why is this important?
The key drivers for the project are (i) the high prevalence of hazardous and harmful drinking in the general population, with deleterious consequences for health, violence and public safety, (ii) the need for current data about trends and social patterning of excessive drinking and attempts to cut down, (iii) a desire for a method to evaluate national policies and communication campaigns, and (iv) the benefit for local authorities of using a standard set of questions to benchmark their performance and evaluate local initiatives.

 How will the research be carried out?
The ATS will extend the model of the Smoking Toolkit Survey which has tracked key performance indicators relating to smoking and smoking cessation on a monthly basis since November 2006. Survey data relating to alcohol indicators will be collected each month from a representative samples of 1700 people aged 16+ in England with a longitudinal follow-up postal survey 6 months later.  This will examine trends in alcohol consumption and associated between alcohol consumption measures and individuals’ attempts to restrict consumption, using time series (involving data collection before and after policy introduction).  We will thus be able to track changes in response to policy interventions and mass media campaigns. We will also be able to examine in detail for the first time associations between smoking and alcohol consumption and the effects of combinations of policies targeting both behaviours.

 Timeframe:  March 2014 to February 2017

 The research is led by Susan Michie (UCL).

 Presentations and papers from the project