History of the panels

Public engagement is an important element of the Centre’s work. Originally the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies set up a panel of active smokers and recent quitters that met twice a year in Bath from 2008. In 2014 this panel moved to Nottingham and continues to run, meeting 2-3 times/year.

including alcohol

A public engagement panel to inform our work on alcohol research, policy and practice was subsequently established in 2015 at the University of Stirling. The panel has met 2/3 times a year since then and continues to be very active.

Beyond Tobacco and Alcohol

Recent developments have meant that our public engagement panels have adapted and changed. For example, the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping devices among smokers and recent ex-smokers means this topic is now integrated into our Smokers’ Panel which is now renamed the Tobacco and Nicotine Discussion Group. Recent discussions with our alcohol discussion group at Stirling have indicated that the group could advise on other public health and prevention issues relevant to UKCTAS researchers (such as food policy) in the future.

Wider Involvement

Beyond participation in panel meetings, our panel members serve as lay advisers on research applications submitted from UKCTAS Universities. This involves: membership of trial and study steering groups; input on research applications; commenting on study information sheets, consent forms and data collection instruments (topic guides, surveys, literature review protocols, data management and risk assessment plans and other key documents); commenting on press releases and communication plans; participating in bespoke meetings to develop or advise on new studies; and other forms of engagement as appropriate. On occasion, panel members have also spoken at conferences alongside UKCTAS researchers and have also served as lay members on key external committees such as NICE guidance groups.


Researchers from the University of Nottingham would like to engage with current smokers or those trying to quit smoking, to hear about smoking or vaping from your perspective.

This group meets regularly to discuss tobacco, tobacco policy, approaches to smoking cessation and new developments in tobacco harm reduction.

Each participant will receive a shopping voucher for each meeting they attend plus we will refund any reasonable travel costs of attending.



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We would like your views on alcohol policy and research ideas, as well as current research projects and alcohol policies and other public health and prevention policy issues in Scotland and the UK. We hope to learn from your perspective so that our research can take into account the needs and views of the general public.

We're looking for occasional or regular drinkers, or those interested in public health and prevention issues in general who are aged 18 years or over, living within 10 miles of Stirling who are willing to attend 2 meetings a year.

Group members will receive a shopping voucher for each meeting they attend plus we will refund any reasonable travel costs of attending.

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