08 January 2021
SPECTRUM researchers have published a new paper in BMC Public Health. The findings of the study will support the development and interpretation of health economic models of the effects of changes to tobacco and alcohol policies.
Policy modification by individual behaviour and by industry
The study identifies eleven mechanisms through which individuals modify the effects of a policy change, which include mechanisms that might lead to linked effects of policy change on tobacco and alcohol consumption. For example, individuals may reduce consumption of one product in response to a change in policy, but replace it with increased consumption of other products.
Alongside individual behaviour, the paper highlights ten mechanisms by which tobacco and alcohol industries might also modify the effects of policy changes. These are grouped into two categories: reducing policy effectiveness and enacting counter-measures.
Identifying these mechanisms makes it easier to recognise the similarities, differences and inter-relationships between tobacco and alcohol, building a picture of this interlinked system.
Informing the development of health economic models
The findings will help to build an understanding of how different types of policy that target tobacco and/or alcohol consumption affect consumer behaviour.
This knowledge will support the development of health economic models that will inform decisions in tobacco and alcohol policymaking.