Public involvement

How we work with members of the public.

Public involvement is an important element of our work, ensuring the perspectives and needs of the public are acknowledged and considered in research.

SPECTRUM supports three public involvement panels, covering tobacco and nicotine, alcohol and mental health.

Beyond participation in panel meetings, our public members can serve as lay advisers on research applications, provide comments on materials and communications, advise on the development of new studies, and undertake other forms of involvement to ensure the public are represented in any new and ongoing activity.

If you’re interested in consulting any of our panels for your research, please contact the individuals listed in the descriptions below.


Tobacco and Nicotine Discussion Group (TANG) | The University of Nottingham

In 2008, the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies set up a public involvement panel of active smokers and recent quitters based in Bath. In 2014, the panel moved to Nottingham where it continues to run with the support of SPECTRUM.


The Tobacco and Nicotine Discussion Group (TANG) engages with current and former smokers, those trying to quit smoking and current e-cigarette users, to hear about smoking or vaping from their perspective. The group meets regularly to discuss tobacco control policy, approaches to smoking cessation and new developments in tobacco harm reduction.


Key contacts

  • Ilze Bogdanovica, Group Co-ordinator and Facilitator:
  • Leah Jayes, Group Co-ordinator and Facilitator:

Alcohol and Food Discussion Group | The University of Stirling

The Alcohol Discussion Group was established by the University of Stirling in 2015 to inform work on alcohol research, policy and practice, ensuring research takes into account the needs and views of the public. The group has evolved in recent years to also include discussions on high fat, sugar and salt food or drinks, and officially became the Alcohol and Food Discussion Group in 2021.


The group consists of members of the public with an interest in alcohol policy and research.


Key contacts

  • Rebecca Howell:
  • Dr Rachel O'Donnell:

Nicotine and Mental Health Group | King's College London

This panel includes people with mental health conditions who have experience of tobacco and/or other nicotine use.


The group was established by King's College London in 2021 to obtain views related to tobacco and other nicotine-containing products, on topics including mass media campaigns and health messages, policies, research ideas, and current research projects in the UK.


Key contacts 

  • Dr Deborah Robson, Group Facilitator:


Visit the group's website