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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Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, Nick Wilson, Andrew Waa*
New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) data released in early December suggest substantial reductions in smoking prevalence occurred between 2019/20 and 2020/21 among all ethnic groups. This blog describes the key findings, explores the data in more detail, and discusses how these changes may have arisen and their implications, particularly given the Government has now released an innovative Action Plan outlining how it will achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa goal.
Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Nick Wilson, Andrew Waa [Department of Public Heath, University of Otago, Wellington]
The latest NZ Health Survey data continues to show encouraging reductions in smoking prevalence. However, progress remains inadequate to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal with persisting disparities in smoking, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples. The Government urgently needs to introduce a comprehensive action plan, including measures to reduce the continued marked disparities in smoking. E-cigarette use and vaping has increased over the last three to four years, though its contribution to reducing smoking prevalence is not yet clear. There is no evidence that increased e-cigarette use among 15-17 year olds is slowing the decline in smoking among young adults.
Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa
This year’s World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) focusses on the tobacco industry’s continued targeting of young people, whose addiction to nicotine will help ensure the industry’s on-going profitability. World Smokefree Day’s social media handle #tobaccoexposed reminds us that, despite a new-found interest in ‘unsmoking’ the world, and moving smokers to “reduced harm” products, tobacco companies continue to develop and promote smoked tobacco products that will appeal to young people. In this blog, we explore how tobacco companies have continued to recruit young people to smoked tobacco; we discuss their efforts to infiltrate public health agendas while continuing to innovate with smoked tobacco, and explain why strong policies and industry denormalisation strategies are vital to ensuring young people remain nicotine free.
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.