The Public Health Expert Blog is being retired after more than a decade of providing insight and commentary from leading voices in public health.
But don’t despair. The blog has been rebranded into the Public Health Expert Briefing and is now managed by the Public Health Communication Centre, based at the University of Otago, Wellington.
The Briefing will continue the blog’s legacy of providing timely and credible information on Aotearoa New Zealand’s most pressing public health issues. You can keep up with new articles published on The Briefing by subscribing here.
All previous blog articles are also now archived on the new Briefing website. And any changes made to this website will ensure that existing links are redirected to archived versions of previous blog posts on the Briefing website.
Matt Boyd, Ben Payne, Nick Wilson*
The Draft NZ National Security Long-term Insights Briefing (LTIB) has recently been produced by the NZ Government. In this blog we discuss its merits and how the process could be further advanced. In particular there is a need to: (i) improve future iterations of the public survey (eg, the next one in February/March 2023); (ii) signal a move towards an integrated and comprehensive National Risks Assessment; and (iii) explicitly articulate the extreme tail risks of each major trend identified in the LTIB (ie, nuclear war, unaligned artificial intelligence, extreme climate change, and catastrophic pandemics).
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Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa*
New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) data was released in late November. In this blog, we assess whether the substantial reductions in smoking prevalence and increase in e-cigarette (EC) use/vaping observed in last year’s survey have continued. Key findings included:
- The accelerated decline in daily and current smoking prevalence first seen in 2020/21 continued into 2021/22, including among Māori and the most deprived population groups, but not among Pacific peoples.
- The greatest reduction in smoking prevalence since 2011/12 occurred among people aged <35 years with much smaller reductions among people aged ≥55 years.
- The rapid increase in prevalence of EC use seen in 2020/21 continued in 2021/22, with the increase greatest among young people aged <25 years.
We explore implications for the Smokefree Aotearoa goal and legislative and regulatory frameworks for smoking and ECs.
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Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards*
Although tobacco harm reduction will likely support realisation of the Smokefree Aotearoa Goal, this approach is often narrowly conceptualised as supporting transitions from smoking to alternative nicotine products that are less harmful. In this blog, we outline an expanded definition that goes beyond supporting access to and uptake of alternative nicotine products like vaping and recognises other core harm reduction approaches. These include measures that decrease the harmfulness of smoked tobacco products to the user and to others, and interventions that reduce the appeal, availability and addictiveness of smoked tobacco products in absolute terms and relative to alternative nicotine products. We encourage further discussion of these ideas amongst the smokefree community as attention turns to how measures in the soon-to-be-enacted
Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill will be implemented.
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Janet Hoek, Lani Teddy, Elizabeth Fenton, Jude Ball, Richard Edwards, Ell Lee*
Aotearoa New Zealand’s Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill proposes introducing a Smokefree Generation (SFG) policy; over time, this policy would end sales of smoked tobacco products. Although supported by health researchers, we know little about how young people – those targeted by the SFG policy – perceive it. In this blog, we briefly explain the policy rationale before discussing findings from our recent paper that addressed this knowledge gap.
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