New Web Map Provides Insights into Alcohol and Tobacco Availability in Scotland

CRESH (Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health) has launched a new open-access web map in Scotland allowing users to explore the availability of alcohol and tobacco at neighbourhood level.

Funded by and based on research conducted within the SPECTRUM Consortium, and supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this digital resource aims to shed light on the links between the availability of these substances and health outcomes. The web map provides information on availability across various geographies, including Scottish Government Data Zones and Local Authorities, and offers data for different years. It also allows users to examine different forms of alcohol availability, such as off-trade and on-trade retailers. Additionally, the map offers supplementary data on factors including deprivation, helping users gain a comprehensive understanding of the neighbourhood’s characteristics.

Research has consistently highlighted the significant role of smoking and alcohol in contributing to ill-health and premature death in Scotland. With tobacco being responsible for one in five deaths and alcohol for one in twenty, understanding the impact of their availability becomes crucial in tackling these public health challenges. By utilising this web map, policymakers, researchers, and the public can access visual representations of alcohol and tobacco availability, enabling them to make informed decisions and develop targeted interventions. The map's inclusion of additional data, such as deprivation levels, provides a comprehensive picture of neighbourhood characteristics, fostering a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between availability, behaviours, and health outcomes in Scotland.