Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*
On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect children from smoking-related harm in Aotearoa.
Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage*
Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. This will mean most suburbs in the city have cycleways that connect to the central city and three quarters of people in the city will be within 5 minutes ride of the network. Following the approach of some of the most innovative cities in the world, WCC plan to roll out a lot of the network using temporary infrastructure (e.g., planter boxes) in the next 3 years, to be gradually hard engineered into the fabric of the city over the next decade. This means people can start cycling soon instead of waiting for everything to be completed and that aspects that don’t work well are adjusted before they are concreted in.
The cycle network will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, improve health through increased physical activity, reduce air pollution and make our city a better place to live by reducing traffic and noise.
Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely*
Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. The second uses these findings to estimate the net health and cost impacts for NZ of vaping devices having become widely available. We draw on these findings to conclude that vaping needs much tighter regulation to maximise benefits and minimise harms.
Boyd Swinburn and Louise Delany*
The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill was introduced into Parliament in October 2021 and a submission process is now underway with a tight 9 December deadline. The Bill introduces major structural changes and will be associated with a suite of new health planning and strategy documents. The aim of this blog is to introduce some key aspects of the Bill and to strongly recommend that the health sector studies the Bill and its implications. We encourage all interested parties to develop submissions for consideration by the Pae Ora Legislation Committee.
Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Jennifer Summers, Lesley Gray, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson*
Analysis of countries with reasonable quality data implies that the risk of Covid-19 infection for most vaccinated international arrivals is typically less than the current risk for Auckland residents. Current MIQ requirements for vaccinated arrivals to Auckland could therefore be dropped for most, without increasing the risk for Aucklanders. It would also be consistent to require tight control measures (vaccination, testing, and potentially some home quarantine) for people travelling from Auckland to other parts of NZ to help maintain elimination in those places (to give time for improved vaccination coverage).