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.
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.
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.