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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Philip Gendall, Janet Hoek, J Robert Branston, Richard Edwards, Nick Wilson*
Pricing is one of the most potent influences on consumers’ behaviour. Governments around the world have used this knowledge to implement tobacco excise taxes, which raise the price of tobacco thus reducing tobacco consumption and smoking prevalence. However, tobacco companies have undermined the intended impact of excise taxes by creating new lower-priced brands or brand variants, and by manipulating excise tax increases in their brand pricing. In this blog, we discuss the findings of our just published paper on pricing and changes in the NZ tobacco market during a period of sustained excise tax increases, and explain how minimum pricing could help prevent tobacco companies from undermining measures designed to encourage smoking cessation and discourage smoking uptake.
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Having periods can be bloody hard work, but for some people they present additional difficulties because products like tampons and pads are priced out of reach. Period poverty impacts Kiwis everyday and is often an unseen problem. Period products are now available for free in schools in Aotearoa, but what more can be done?
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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers*
A just published study examined the lifespan of politicians in 11 high-income democratic countries – including Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). The NZ politicians were found to live at least 5 years longer than the general NZ population (age and gender matched) and this gap has been growing since 1950. One of the likely reasons is the lower smoking rate of NZ politicians compared to the rest of the population. Perhaps it is time for NZ politicians to share the lifespan benefits of their smokefree lives – by ensuring that the current smokefree legislation before Parliament is passed in full?
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Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker*
The Government has acknowledged the need for a formal review of the Covid-19 pandemic response. In this blog we explain how it is now time to announce the process and timetable for such an official inquiry. We note that all sudden mass fatality events with 10+ deaths since 1936 in Aotearoa NZ have resulted in an official inquiry. Ensuring an inquiry has lasting usefulness will depend on the depth and scope of the terms of reference, taking a forward-looking and depoliticised approach. Effective follow-up of recommendations through legislation, active implementation, and enforcement by Government will also be required. (See here a very short video summary of this blog, and here for a longer video.)
Figure 1: Photograph of 440 students at Wellington College to symbolically represent the worst day for deaths from the 1918 influenza pandemic in NZ – a pandemic that was followed by a valuable official inquiry in 1919. Photo by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Continue reading