Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Change in alcohol and tobacco availability, population health and the lived experience

Project Number:



Tom Clemens
Niamh Shortt
Jamie Pearce
Richard Mitchell
Carol Emslie
Elena Dimova
Peter Lekkas

Start Date:

1st December 2019


The principal objective of the research outlined in this data application is to strengthen what we know of the causal relationship between the spatial (geographic/area-level) and temporal nature of the alcohol and tobacco retail environments and attributable alcohol and tobacco health-related morbidity and mortality, in and over time. Meeting this objective will allow us to bridge extant knowledge gaps and enable us to inform local and national policy through our stakeholders and broader dissemination efforts.

The proposed SLS study forms part of a wider mixed methods project including a significant qualitative component. The project aims relevant for this application are:

1. Assess and quantify the extent to which the longitudinal nature of alcohol and tobacco availability are associated with changes in related hospitalisations and deaths.

2. Assess and quantify what individual, household, socioeconomic and spatial/geographic factors influence the temporal relationship between trajectories in the alcohol and tobacco retail environment and related hospitalisations and deaths Throughout we will focus on health inequalities and explore spatial and time trends in availability on alcohol and tobacco related inequalities. That is we will assess whether the availability of alcohol and tobacco in and across space and time are shared equally amongst all population groups (e.g. varying socioeconomic and sociocultural/-demographic groups), or if structural discrepancies exist.


1. World Health Organisation. WHO Tobacco Fact Sheet 2018. 2018.
2. World Health Organisation. Global status report on alcohol and health 2014. Glob status Rep alcohol. 2014:1-392. doi:/entity/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/en/index.html.
3. Pearce J, Rind E, Shortt N, Tisch C, Mitchell R. Tobacco Retail Environments and Social Inequalities in Individual-Level Smoking and Cessation Among Scottish Adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015; 18(2):138-146. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntv089.
4. Richardson E a, Hill SE, Mitchell R, Pearce J, Shortt NK. Is local alcohol outlet density related to alcohol-related morbidity and mortality in Scottish cities? Heal Place. 2015; 33(April):172-180. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.02.014.
5. ASH Scotland. Up in Smoke. Edinburgh; 2010.
6. Scottish Government. No Title. Alcohol. Accessed July 25, 2018.
7. Pearce J, Barnett R, Moon G. Sociospatial inequalities in health-related behaviours: Pathways linking place and smoking. Prog Hum Geogr. 2011; 36(1):3-24. doi:10.1177/0309132511402710.
8. Cohen JE, Anglin L. Outlet density: a new frontier for tobacco control. Addiction. 2008; 104(1):2-3. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02389.x.
9. Shortt NK, Tisch C, Pearce J, et al. A cross-sectional analysis of the relationship between tobacco and alcohol outlet density and neighbourhood deprivation. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15:1014. doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2321-1.

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