Not forgetting the benefits to youth and non-smokers – an example from increases in tobacco taxes

Monday, September 9th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Janet Hoek

Tobacco control’s focus on supporting smokers to quit, thus reducing the harm they face (eg, via appropriately regulated access to e-cigarettes) remains important. However, we need to do more to protect youth and non-smokers from the burden of tobacco. In this blog we use the issue of tobacco tax increases to show the potentially large benefits to youth and non-smokers – as well as to smokers who quit. Policy-makers need to take a broad view of how tobacco control policies impact on society so that progress to the country’s Smokefree 2025 goal is accelerated.

Continue reading

Vaping very likely to be improving health in NZ – but how does this compare with other options?

Monday, March 25th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Frederieke Petrović-van der Deen, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, A/Prof Coral Gartner, Prof Tony Blakely

Our just published modelling study suggests that easier access to nicotine via vaping as a replacement for tobacco smoking, will improve the health of the NZ population. The estimated health gain is about the same as 10% per annum tobacco tax increases per year for 15 years, or a national colorectal cancer screening programme. Considering all sources of uncertainty, our study supports cautious liberalisation of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes – as NZ is doing. In this blog we discuss this new study and issues that policy-makers should consider to maximise the potential health gain – and minimise risks.

Continue reading

Smoke, heat or vapour? Ideas for risk-proportionate regulation to make World Smokefree Day irrelevant by 2025

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa, Janet Hoek, Louise Thornley, Nick Wilson.

ASPIRE 2025, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

World Smokefree Day is an apt day on which to propose some ideas that may greatly increase momentum for the achieving Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. Tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes vary greatly in their likely adverse health effects and overall impact on population health. Reflecting this, the Ministry of Health announced in May that it will investigate ‘risk-proportionate’ regulation for tobacco and vaping products. This blog discusses public health considerations in developing the new regulatory framework, and proposes key features of a risk-proportionate approach. We argue the framework should aim to minimise harm and maximise benefits to population health by accelerating progress towards New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal. As well as clarifying the appropriate regulatory approaches to vaping products, we see an overwhelming need for much stronger regulation of smoked tobacco products, as these are vastly under-regulated in relation to the harm they cause.

Continue reading

Can we manage dual use of smoking and vaping more effectively?

Friday, February 16th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

Professor Janet Hoek, Dr Lindsay Robertson, Ms Mei-Ling Blank, Dr Rosalina Richards

Although most smokers want to quit, many of those who begin vaping continue to smoke. We recently probed this perplexing ambiguity and explored dual use of cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) [1]. In this blog, we summarise our findings and consider interventions that could encourage smokers to transition completely to vaping.

Continue reading

Patterns of Declining Smoking in NZ – But More Action Needed by the New Government

Monday, November 20th, 2017 | dayhi34p | No Comments

Nick Wilson, Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Anaru Waa, Tony Blakely

Just published results from the NZ Health Survey indicate ongoing declines in smoking for Māori and for European New Zealanders. In this blog we comment on the possible reasons for these trends and describe recent work on how progress could be accelerated.

Continue reading