Area 4: Business of addiction

Led by Emma Disley (RAND Europe)

Sales of addictive goods generate large revenues for a number of entities, ranging from governments and large corporations to those operating as part of underground economies. The business of addiction (suppliers, revenues, profits, legal and illegal trade) and its web of influence will be investigated in Area 4.


  • WP10 - Revenues, profits and participants – aims to estimate the size of the market of addictive goods through the knowledge of how much revenue is generated, using interviews with drug dealers and other methods. Led by Emma Disley.


  • WP11 - The impact of suppliers – is developing a theoretical framework laying out the motivations to increase or reduce addiction among the different industries producing or selling addictive substances and services and examine relevant industries’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. Led by Ben Baumberg (University of Kent).

Witteman, J., Post, H., Tarvainen, M., de Bruijn, A., de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E. , Ramaekers, J. G., & Wiers, R. W. (2015). Brain reactivity to alcohol and cannabis marketing during sobriety and intoxication. Addiction biology. Psychopharmacology, 232(20), 3685-3696.

de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E. B., Theunissen, E. L., Kuypers, K. P., Evers, E. A., Stiers, P., Toennes, S. W., ... & Ramaekers, J. G. (2016). Brain reactivity to alcohol and cannabis marketing during sobriety and intoxication. Addiction Biology DOI: 10.1111/adb.12351


  • WP12 - Addictions’ web of influence - aims to increase the knowledge of interplay between stakeholders across a number of addictions. Led by David Miller (Bath University).

Re: Costs of minimum alcohol pricing would outweigh benefits. (2014) Miller D., Gilmore AB., Sheron N., Britton J. & Babor T. 

Commentary: Sweet policies. (2015) Peter Anderson and David Miller

Is the obesity epidemic exaggerated? Yes.d? Yes. (2015) Miller and Harkins




The findings from Area 4 will contribute to a better understanding of how the trade of addictive substances actually functions, the estimated profits generated from consumers, the role of policy intermediaries, and the webs of influence which act on policy responses to a variety of addictions.

Download description pdf


Area 4 internal documents (for logged in users only)