POPLHLTH 774 : Addictive Consumptions and Public Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on the extensive health impacts of addictive consumptions, particularly in relation to the legalised consumptions of tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Outlines applications of public health principles to reducing harm from these consumptions. Critically examines the role of corporate industrial complexes in promoting these consumptions and in preventing policy and legislative reforms.

Course Overview

This course is most relevant to students pursuing careers in health research, public health, mental health and specialist practice in alcohol and other drugs. This course would suit a wide variety of students interested in developing a frame-work for thinking about and processing ideas on alcohol, drugs and other addictions. The course is inclusive of other related consumptions such as unhealthy food, pornography and pharmaceuticals. Students enrolled in the Postgraduate Certificate , Diploma or Masters with a specialisation in either Public Health or Alcohol and Drug Studies are strongly encouraged to enrol. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: POPLPRAC 709

Course Contacts

Course Director
Prof Peter Adams 
Email: p.adams@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6538

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the impacts of addictive consumptions on health (Capability 1)
  2. Apply the principles of public health and harm reduction to specific population contexts (Capability 3)
  3. Design an intervention, drawing on public health literature with attention to context and evaluation components (Capability 1, 4 and 5)
  4. Critically appraise relevant health, policy and industry dimensions of an addictive consumption issue (Capability 1 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Critical analysis of a media issues 20% Individual Coursework
Critical appraisal of best practice 20% Individual Coursework
Class presentation on approach to intervention 10% Individual Coursework
Applied Intervention Proposal 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Critical analysis of a media issues
Critical appraisal of best practice
Class presentation on approach to intervention
Applied Intervention Proposal

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of lectures, a 0 hour tutorial, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The activities for the course are scheduled as block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The course will consist of four block teaching days plus self-directed reading and assignments. The reading will focus both on a general knowledge of the field and the development of specialist interests. The teaching assumes that students will devote time between each block to read the prescribed text and readings. Students will be encouraged to develop their own perspectives and interests and to relate these to their work environment. Assignment work assumes significant self-directed reading into specialist interest areas. Class teaching will involve a mixture of presentations and discussion. Students are encouraged to participate actively in discussions and to clearly communicate both consenting and dissenting viewpoints.
The block teaching is intended to facilitate access for students working full-time and/or coming from outside Auckland. Students are expected to engage in a minimum of six hours of reading per week. The remaining 54 hours will be devoted to assignments and examination preparation (a total of 150 hours for the course as a whole).
Block days will be interspersed with a mixture of learning activities including lectures, group discussions debates. Students will be asked to present on their applied intervention project during the final block.

Required readings will be comprised of a set of recent and relevant journal articles.
Recommended books include: 
  • T. F. Babor et. al. (2010) Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity (OUP) 
  • S. Chapman (2007) Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History (Oxford: Blackwell)
  • P.J. Adams (2016) Moral Jeopardy: Risks of Accepting  Money from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling Industries (Cambridge UP)
Selected articles are provided at the first class during the course.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Students encouraged continued engagement of experts in the School and elsewhere.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.