The aim of the STAPM research programme is to identify and evaluate approaches to reducing the harm from tobacco and alcohol, with the aim of improving commissioning in a public health policy context, i.e. providing knowledge to support benefits achieved by policymakers.

Beginning in 2014, as part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS), the modelling approach used in the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (SAPM) was extended to model the effects of tobacco policies and interventions on the dynamics of smoking, and to investigate the effects of interactions between policy effects on tobacco and alcohol consumption.

The two objectives of the STAPM research programme are:

  • to evaluate the health and economic effects of past trends, policy changes or interventions that have affected alcohol consumption and/or tobacco smoking
  • to appraise the health and economic outcomes of potential future trends, changes to alcohol and/or tobacco policy or new interventions

The STAPM platform is not linked to the tobacco or alcohol industry and is conducted without industry funding or influence.


As part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS), the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (SAPM) was extended to model the effects of interventions on tobacco smoking as well as alcohol consumption. The goal was to be able to assess the potential scale of effect of tobacco and alcohol policy on health and economic outcomes within a common modelling framework.

To guide development of the joint tobacco and alcohol modelling, a workshop was organised to which a range of UK public health policy and academic experts in tobacco and alcohol were invited. The outcome of this workshop was a description of the main elements and mechanisms within the joint tobacco and alcohol policy system, which covered five policy/intervention themes: price, place, person, promotion, prescriptive and a cross-cutting theme of industry regulation.

Development of the STAPM modelling platform is continuing as part of the SPECTRUM UK Prevention Research Partnership consortium. This work extends the modelling already developed for England to Scotland and Wales, develops further health and economic outcomes, and continues to evaluate and appraise policies and interventions.