Thank you for your interest in our study!

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Before starting the survey, please read the information below and contact us, using the details below, with any questions.

Who conducts the study?

The study is conducted by members of the Departments of Behavioural Science and Health and Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London (UCL). The study is led by Dr Lion Shahab ( and Dr Aleksandra Herbec ( This study comes under a larger programme of research approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee (CEHP/2020/579; Programme PI: Prof Susan Michie:, Co-Applicant: Prof Jamie Brown,

What is this study about?

We want to understand physical activity and diet, as well as the use and changes to the use of tobacco (e.g. cigarettes), nicotine (e.g. e-cigarettes) and alcohol during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We also want to learn how we could create or provide support for changing lifestyle and health behaviours.

Who can participate?

To participate, you must be an adult (18 years +), be fluent in English and consent to respond to this, and to shorter follow-up surveys online.

What will happen if you agree to participate?

You will be asked to complete a survey now (which can take around 10-20 minutes to complete, depending on your answers) and then a shorter, follow-up survey (up to 10 min) after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. We will ask you for your email address so that we can email you links to the follow-up surveys.

What is the survey about?

The survey asks questions about yourself (e.g. your age, gender), how COVID-19 has impacted different aspects of your life (e.g. work, lifestyle), physical activity, diet, your tobacco use (e.g. smoking), nicotine use (e.g. vaping), and alcohol consumption. We also ask about factors that may influence these behaviours, as well as your experience with and preferences for any programmes that can help with changing your lifestyle (e.g. digital programmes).

What will happen to the information you give us?

The data you provide will be managed according to The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR regulations (see below). Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential. We collect email address only to send you follow-up surveys, and if you agree separately, to send you information about other relevant studies of support or interviews. Email addresses will be stored in a secure server at UCL and only selected study team members at UCL will access it. At the end of this study we will separate your email address from the other data you provide and mark your data with unique ID numbers. Only fully anonymised data will be shared with research collaborators. Only anonymised data will be presented in academic publications, at conferences, and in student theses.

How long will my data be stored for?

If you do not agree to receive information about other studies, your email address will be deleted upon completion of the study. If you agree to receive information about other future studies, your email will be stored for up to 3 years. Answers to the survey questions will only be used for this research and will be shared only with research collaborators. Only anonymised data will be stored at UCL for future research. You can withdraw at any time and we will stop contacting you for follow-ups, but the data collected up until that point will be retained to ensure research integrity.

How can I find out about the results?

Information about the study and the outputs will be made available here:

Local Data Protection Privacy Notice

The controller for this project will be University College London (UCL). The UCL Data Protection Officer provides oversight of UCL activities involving the processing of personal data, and can be contacted at This 'local' privacy notice sets out the information that applies to this particular study. Your personal data will be processed so long as it is required for the research project. The lawful basis that will be used to process your personal data are: 'Public task' for personal data and' Research purposes' for special category data.

Further information on how UCL uses participant information can be found in our 'general' privacy notice: For participants in health and care research studies, click here. If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, or if you would like to contact us about your rights, please contact UCL in the first instance at

Data security

Identifiable data is stored on UCL Data Safe Haven, which has been certified to the ISO27001 Information security standard and conforms to the NHS Digital's Information Governance Toolkit.

If you have concerns

If you have any concerns about the study, you can contact the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (UTARG) on If you feel your concerns have not been handled satisfactorily, you can contact the Chair of the UCL Research Ethics Committee at

Consent for the Survey study

I understand that:

  • My participation is completely voluntary and I can withdraw from this study at any point. If I withdraw, I will not be contacted about the subsequent surveys.
  • The email address I provide is valid and can be used to receive follow-up surveys as part of this study. My email address will not be passed to any third parties and will be removed from all the other data I provide so that only anonymised data will be stored long-term.
  • It will not be possible to amend or remove data after they have been submitted already because it could undermine the scientific integrity of the research.
  • The data gathered in this study will be stored securely and it will not be possible to identify me in any outputs from this research.

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