Regulating vaping and new nicotine products: Are tobacco companies’ goals aligned with public health objectives?

Friday, March 27th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Lindsay Robertson1,2, Janet Hoek3, Anna Gilmore1, Richard Edwards 3, Anaru Waa3

1 Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath, UK; 2 Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, NZ; 3 Dept of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington, NZ

The public will soon have the opportunity to make submissions on the long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill (‘the Bill’) which will regulate vaping products and alternative nicotine delivery systems. In a previous blog, ASPIRE 2025 researchers summarised the strengths and limitations of the Bill, and concluded that it contained several important measures, yet could do more to protect the health of children, young people and non-nicotine users. This blog – intended as a follow-up article to further promote discussion – summarises emerging evidence of British American Tobacco’s ambitious plans for its nicotine products, and highlights the disjunction between tobacco companies’ profit goals and public health objectives.

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Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson

While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience for our health system in the face of COVID-19 must include reducing current avoidable pressures that are not COVID-related. Emergency policies should include the reduction of preventable injuries that currently take a toll on hospital and health resources. These include those caused by alcohol, avoidable home accidents and road crashes. Increased alcohol prices, reduced sales hours, and reduced or banned advertising of alcohol would make significant and valuable differences for hospital staff, medical centres and patients. Even with reduced private road traffic, two immediate policies to help are (1) enhanced enforcement of existing alcohol limits for driving and (2) larger speed camera fines. Mass media campaigns by ACC on preventable home accidents would also help.

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The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 | tedla55p | 3 Comments

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson

The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog we adapt our work for Australia (just published in this blog) to the NZ setting.

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Proposed Vaping Regulations for NZ: Strengths and Limitations

Monday, February 24th, 2020 | tedla55p | 1 Comment

Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson, George Thomson

Minister Jenny Salesa announced the Government’s long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill on Sunday 23 February.  The Bill contains some important provisions as it works to strike a balance between ensuring regulated products are available to smokers wishing to quit, while at the same time minimising uptake by young people. Its proposed extension of prohibitions on advertising and sponsorship from tobacco products to all vaping and smokeless tobacco products, including e-liquids, are important steps.  However, there are also opportunities for the Bill to go further to protect young people from vaping uptake. In this blog, we discuss the provisions, as summarised in the Ministry of Health’s Factsheet, and outline important questions that we argue the final Act should address.

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Updating the role of the state: the case of housing in New Zealand

Monday, February 17th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman

Housing policy is building up to be the key election issue again. In this blog I reflect on the importance of the role of the New Zealand Government in improving access to affordable housing. I look at what the Government been doing to increase quality public housing and to reduce homelessness and why the public housing waiting list is getting longer.

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