Finalized projects

A-BRAIN – Addiction in the Brain: Ethically Sound Implementation in Governance (2018-2022)

The A-BRAIN project concerns the implementation of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (BDMA) and its possible implications for policy and practice.
Funding: ERA NET ELSA-NEURON, Academy of Finland, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Fonds de recherche Santé, Quebec
Partners: Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, Centre de Recherche, CHU Ste-Justine, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Helsinki (UH)
Participants from Finland: Matilda Hellman (PI), Anna Alanko, Michael Egerer, Petteri Koivula, Susanne Uusitalo, Amanda Häkkinen, Janne Stoneham

Brain Based Addiction: Implications for Views on Agency (AGENCY, 2018-2022)

The study inquires into how agency of people with addictions materializes in the implementation of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (BDMA) in general epistemic and popular constructs; in policy, media and practice and treatment settings. AGENCY-project is entangled with the A-BRAIN consortium.
Funding: Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation
Partners: Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, Centre de Recherche, CHU Ste-Justine, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Participants: Petteri Koivula (doctoral dissertation project)

Political Economy of Gambling – Circulation of value and vested interests (PolEG, 2018-2022)

Gambling creates revenue to public purses, operators and other beneficiaries through taxation, direct contributions, fees and by creating employment and investment. Offshore and cross-border operators attempt to enter the lucrative markets, while established gambling providers seek to safeguard their acquired market positions. This study focuses on the circulation of value from gambling to different beneficiaries, and different types of vested interests that may influence these processes.
Research questions: How much value is generated through gambling in European countries, how it is circulated between stakeholders, and what kind of vested interests are involved.
The questions will be answered by comparing the political economy of gambling in seven European countries, using econometric data, official documentation and key informant interviews. The results will inform on the importance of gambling funds to European economies and the kinds of vested interests that may hinder effective policies.
Funding: Academy of Finland
Research lead: Pekka Sulkunen
Participants from Finland: Janne Nikkinen, Virve Marionneau, Sébastien Berret
Partners: ECLECTICA (Italy)

Book: Governing Human Lives and Health in Pandemic Times (2020-2022) 

With case studies from countries across the world, including Italy, India, Canada and Finland, Governing Human Lives and Health in Pandemic Times investigates the instruments and the type of reasoning involved when large-scale social control strategies were implemented worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (
Participants: Joint project of scholars from 8 countries.

KBS 2021 Helsinki (2019-2021) 

The 46th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Congress of the Kettil Bruun Society (KBS) was a joint initiative by CEACG, THL, The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, the Association for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Network for Preventive Substance Abuse Work, Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs and the society for alcohol and drug researchers, held in Helsinki on 31.5.-3.6.2021. The Congress gathered approximately 150 participants.
Funding: The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, Alko.
Participants: Matilda Hellman, Pia Mäkelä (THL), Amanda Häkkinen (coordinator), Tomi Lintonen (Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies), Anu Katainen.

The public image and function of gambling provision in Finland: Scrutinizing a policy system (PUBFUNC, 2017-2020)

The study conducts a qualitative analysis of the views on the Finnish regulation of gambling as a parallel track to the broader survey study. Qualitative approaches enable the project to gain access to a more profound data on the meanings and understandings of how the citizens view the Finnish gambling monopoly and the activity of gambling. The first research report of the focus group interviews was published 14.12.2018.
Funding: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Participants: Matilda Hellman (PI, HY/THL), Johanna Järvinen-Tassopoulus (THL), Michael Egerer, Anna Alanko, Tuulia Lerkkanen

Online marketing of alcohol (2017-2020)

The project Online marketing of alcohol (OMA) is concerned with online marketing of alcohol in Finland and in Sweden. It consists of two integrated parts:

A) Regulation of online alcohol advertising: Is it possible and is it relevant from a public health perspective? (2017-2018)

In an international part materials from Finland and Sweden are compared with the main objective of studying whether restrictions of online marketing of alcohol is possible and relevant in a public health perspective.

Funding: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, Systembolagets forskningsråd
Participants: Matilda Hellman (PI), Mikaela Lindeman, Anu Katainen, Emmi Kauppila, Johan Svensson (CAN, Karolinska), Anna Raninen (CAN)

B) Affecting adolescents’ images of alcohol use (2017-2020)

The Finnish part is a research and evaluation project in which the same question is studied and developed additionally in terms of practical tools and policy consequences in tight collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and with the The Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (EHYT). The topic of the research is an evaluation of the online alcohol marketing strategies and the impact of the new Finnish Alcohol Act.

Funding: Academy of Finland (key project funding)
Participants: Anu Katainen (PI), Matilda Hellman, Emmi Kauppila
Researchers in alphabetical order: Matilda Hellman (HU, Fin), Emmi Kauppila (HU, Fin) Anu Katainen (HU, Fin), Mikaela Lindeman (ATS, Fin), Anna Raninen (CAN, Se), Johan Svensson (CAN, KI, Se).
International collaboration: Thomas Babor (University of Connecticut, USA), Jonathan Noel (University of Connecticut, USA), Peter Anderson (Newcastle University, UK), Sally Casswell (Massey University, NZ).
Project lead: Matilda Hellman (INT) and Anu Katainen (FIN)
Project institutions: The CEACG / University of Helsinki, The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), Karolinska Institutet (KI), the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (ATS).

The Role and Function of PAF Gambling Operator in Åland Islands (2019-2020)

The Åland Islands is an autonomous region consisting of a group of islands situated between Finland and Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Another exception that Åland has as an autonomous region in Finland is its own gambling monopoly, Penningautomatföreningen (PAF).
In this project the role and function of PAF in the Ålandian society is analysed. The material of the research project consists of interviews, document analysis and media material. This study is a first investigation of how PAF as a societal actor in the Åland Islands materializes as a socio-cultural phenomenon in public speech.
Funding: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Participants: Tuulia Lerkkanen, Matilda Hellman

Exposure of children to marketing of unhealthy foods (2018-2019)

The aim of the study is to get more insight on the exposure of children to marketing of foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) in the EU countries, and thereby to assess whether current marketing regulations are sufficient to protect children and to prevent childhood obesity. The study also examines the content of HFSS advertisements and the ways in which these advertisements address children. Research questions: How much is an average EU child exposed to commercial communications and online marketing of HFSS foods? What type of (online) marketing and commercial communication of HFSS foods does an average child see in the EU? Are children especially targeted? To what extent is (online) marketing and commercial communication of HFSS foods appealing to children and how?

Funding: European Commission, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)
Participants: Anu Katainen, Emmi Kauppila
International collaboration: Ecorys Nederland, University of Helsinki, prof. Carolyn Summerbell (Durham University, United Kingdom), prof. Bas van den Putte (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), prof. Gerard Hastings (University of Stirling, United Kingdom), dr. Emma Boyland (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom), dr. Bridget Kelly (University of Wollongong, Australia), dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere (University of Auckland, New Zealand), dr. Frans Folkvord (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands), dr. Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva (Open Evidence and Open University of Catalonia, Spain), dr. Tim Smits (KU Leuven, Belgium) and dr. Mimi Tatlow-Golden (The Open University, United Kingdom).

The new gambling monopoly (2016-)

Funding: STM
Topic: Cooperation project together with the THL. The project looks into (a) political/ structural changes and (b) the position of the new monopoly in society.
Participants: Matilda Hellman, Janne Nikkinen, Michael Egerer, Virve Marionneau, Pekka Sulkunen, Tuulia Lerkkanen, researchers from the THL
Survey: gambling habits and attitudes to gambling 2016-
Funding: STM, THL
Topic: Cooperation project together with THL, Statistic Finland. Survey on gambling habits, harm, policy
Participants: Hannu Alho, Anne Salonen, Matilda Hellman, Jani Selin

“For some other reasons?” – An ethnographic study of an international outlaw motorcycle club (2015-)

Funding: (Finland) Kone Foundation
Topic: The study examines collisions between legislation and an outlaw motorcycle subculture, and particularly reasons for these which are difficult to perceive clearly from the viewpoint of legislation.
Participant: Jussi Perälä (post doc project)

Drug related deaths in Finland – Polydrug use, pharmaceuticalisation and social determinants 2010-2018

Funding: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Topic: This study explores drug related deaths and mortality in the context of pharmaceuticalisation and polydrug use.
Participant: Sanna Rönkä, doctoral project

Gambling Policy in European Welfare Regimes (GPE) 2015-2018

In many European countries, gambling offers a seemingly reliable and growing source to fund welfare regimes and public expenses. This source of revenue is often earmarked for specialised services and in many countries this revenue is used to fund private or semi-private institutions that provide public services such as sports, culture, or health and social services, including associations and charities in (mental) health care and help for substance abusers or other behavioural problems.

Gambling revenue is not always channeled to public use in the form of tax, as there are many institutional ways of doing so, including public gambling companies, sometimes even state monopolies with legal obligations to spend a part of their profits to specified purposes, using charities as revenue collectors and re-distributors, and different mixes of these.
Revenue collection from gambling to the benefit of public treasuries also creates problems.Two types of vicious loops are formed. First, gambling generates public revenue which, simultaneously, generates costs due to gambling-related problems. Secondly, more revenue is needed to address these problems.

Funding: Academy of Finland
Principal Investigator: Pekka Sulkunen
Participants: Janne Nikkinen, Michael Egerer, Virve Marionneau
Partner institutions: Research and Training Centre Eclectica (Turin, Italy), National Institute for Consumer Research SIFO (Oslo, Norway), Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs SoRAD (Stockholm, Sweden)
The book is available for purchase in hardcopy or as an e-book.

From a parenting measure to a crime? The legal regulation and control of parental corporal violence in Finland 1965–2014

Funding: Academy of Finland
Topic: The project examines parent to child violence from the perspectives of legal regulation and the practical consequences of implementing the legislation in the state provided child protection services
Participant: Riikka Kotanen, post doc Project

Exposure of minors to alcohol advertising in the EU (2015-2016)

The purpose of the study was to examine how much an average minor in the EU see alcohol advertising in linear and non-linear audio-visual media services and what types of alcohol advertising minors are exposed to. The study assessed, whether alcohol advertising is specifically targeted at minors and whether the current EU regulation provides the required level of protection.
Research questions: How much alcohol advertising does an average minor see on linear and non-linear audio-visual media services in the EU? What type of alcohol advertising does an average minor see? Are minors specifically targeted by alcohol advertising? In how far is alcohol advertising appealing to minors and how? How far do the provisions of the AVMSD and their application afford the required level of protection?
Funding: European Commission, Directorate-General of Communications Networks, Content & Technology
Participants: Anu Katainen, Matilda Hellman, Janne Seppänen
International collaboration: Ecorys (Netherlands)

Gambling Policy and the Public Good – An International Book Project 2014-2016

The purpose of this book is to describe how the scientific study of gambling behaviour, the gambling industry and the regulation of gambling can contribute to gambling policy and the public good. It will be written to answer some fundamental questions on gambling policy:

  • How can the historical background of gambling inform contemporary gambling policy at the local and national levels?
  • What is the structure of the gambling industry, and how does it compare with gambling activities managed by government monopolies and the informal sector?
  • What is the prevalence of gambling behaviour and gambling problems throughout the world, and how is it changing with the liberalization of gambling regulations?
  • What are the personal, social and societal costs and benefits of gambling, and do the costs outweigh the benefits?
  • What can scientific research tell us about the policies and interventions that have been designed to regulate gambling, treat gambling disorders and prevent gambling problems?

The general approach will be guided by a public health orientation with a strong focus on the strengths and limitations of the available research from the social and behavioural sciences. The scope of the book will be international with a balanced emphasis on implications for developing as well as developed countries.
This book continues the series of public health oriented monographs on addiction policy that started with Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective by Kettil Bruun and others in 1975, continued with Alcohol Policy and the Public Good by Griffith Edwards and others in 1997, and include most recently Alcohol – No Ordinary Commodity, 2003, and Drug Policy and the Public Good, 2010, by Thomas Babor and other collaborators.
Funding: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies
Lead: Thomas Babor (University of Connecticut), Pekka Sulkunen (CEACG)
Email: michael.egerer [at]
Tel: +358 2941 23919
The collective international book on gambling policy is now available.

From the social sector to selective individualized prison practices? Studying prisoners’ substance abuse and treatment

Funding: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, Nordiska Samarbetsrådet för Kriminologi (NSfK)
Topic: This study explores the changes in substance abuse patterns among Finnish prisoners from 1985 to 2006 as well as changes in the division of labor between different institutions handling harm resulting from substance abuse, along with new prison strategies for finding and treating substance abuse as a risk factor for re-offending.
Participant: Yaira Obstbaum, doctoral project

Addictions in Europe (ALICE RAP) 2011-2016

Funding: EU FP7
Topics: Coordination of Area 1 (Ownership of addiction); WP 3: Images of Addiction. Media analysis and focus group interviews with GPs and social workers concerning image of addiction over time and/ or in different cultures.
Participants: Matilda Hellman, Pekka Sulkunen, Michael Egerer

Study on the exposure of minors to alcohol advertising on linear and non-linear audio-visual media services and other online services, including a content analysis 2015

Funding: EU
Participants: Anu Katainen, Matilda Hellman, Janne Seppänen (TAY), European researchers

Public Sector in Transition (JULKI) 2011-2015

Funding: Academy of Finland, UH
Topic: The role of association in service production and representations: substance use and mental health
Participants: Anna Alanko, Riikka Perälä, Pekka Sulkunen (PI)

Images of adolescent drinking in Finland and Italy 2010-2013 and 2012-2015

Funding: FFAS, Academy of Finland, ERAB
Topic: How do young people and adults define drinking by teenagers in two very different drinking cultures? Is there convergence in drinking patterns, images of drinking, and in the relationship between alcohol and other drugs?
Participants: Anu Katainen, Pekka Sulkunen, Franca Beccaria & team (Eclectica, Italy)

Addiction and images of time, space and body 2012-2015

Funding: Academy of Finland.
Topic: The research project focuses on the ‘being in the world’ of addicted players of Massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs). It is hypothesized that the behavior is cued, upheld by and lived through extreme and ‘displaced’ perceptions of time, space and body.
Participants: Matilda Hellman, Maija Majamäki

Theories of addiction and images of Addictive behaviours (IMAGES) 2007-2015

Funding: STM, Academy of Finland, HCAS, FFAS, Finnish Foundation for Gambling Research
Topics: images of addiction among professionals, images of adolescent drinking, societal reactions to addicted parents
Participants: Members of CEACG and their international collaborations, Pekka Sulkunen (PI)
Outputs: about 35 research articles, an international collective book in 2015.

The Total Consumption Model and Gambling Problems

Funding (Finland): STM
Topic: What can be learned from the alcohol policy for gambling policy?Participants: Gambling researchers of CEACG, Sirus and others.

Institutional arrangements of Gambling Control in Europe

Funding (Finland): STM
Topic: How do controls of gambling activities differ, and what kinds of dependencies do they generate in different European countries
Participant: Researchers of CEACG

Financialisation and the Welfare State 2011-2015

Funding: Norwegian Research Council
Topic: How does the growing financial sector influence income redistribution, public service provision, housing and what is the impact on welfare and equality in selected European countries
Participant (Finland): Pekka Sulkunen

Images of gambling in Finland and France 2009-2013

Funding: STM, Finnish Gambling Research Foundation, The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies
Topics: Images of gambling among active gamblers in Helsinki and Paris; gambling environments and images of gambling in popular culture
Participants: Matias Karekallas, Virve Pöysti
Outputs: Virve Pöysti’s dissertation; Matias Karekallas’ dissertation

Concepts and institutions in the Nordic tobacco policy and drug policy 2012-2013

Funding: for travel and work meetings: the NVC
Topic: what concepts and inherent views on tobacco and illicit drugs have justified the development over time in different Nordic countries.
Participants: researchers from Finland (CEACG, THL) , Sweden (SoRAD), Norway (Sirus), Denmark (Århus).
Output: Hellman, M., Roos, G. & von Wright, J. (Eds.) (2012) A Welfare Policy Patchwork: Negotiating the Public Good in times of transition. Helsinki: Nordens välfärdscenter, Stockholm.