Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward

Thursday, January 16th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson

Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for some smokers and increase retail crime. In this blog, we explore how allocating a proportion of tobacco tax revenue to assist smokers, and funding other complementary measures, could help avoid unintended outcomes and support continuation of an effective policy intervention.

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Ten things we can learn from new smoking and vaping data about progress to Smokefree Aotearoa 2025

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Nick Wilson, Andrew Waa [All from Department of Public Heath, University of Otago, Wellington]

New NZ Health Survey data show some encouraging recent reductions in smoking prevalence. However, progress remains inadequate to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal and the government needs to take urgent action, particularly to reduce marked disparities for Māori and Pacific peoples. The data also show increased uptake of e-cigarettes/vaping over the last 3-4 years, but the contribution of vaping to helping achieve the smokefree goal is not yet clear.

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Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?

Monday, December 2nd, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman

Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year 10 survey data have been interpreted as suggesting few young people who are non-smokers are vaping. How can these apparently contradictory perceptions co-exist? In this blog, we begin by outlining recent findings on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and their potential contribution to public health. We then explore possible explanations for why reports and perceptions about youth vaping sometimes differ and offer suggestions about how this behaviour needs to be more effectively monitored.

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The Pros and Cons of a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Goal: The Case is Overwhelmingly Pro for NZ

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Nick Wilson, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Janet Hoek

In this blog we review the case for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Goal. We find that this is an ideal health goal given the large health gains, impact on reducing health inequalities, and savings in health costs that will follow from achieving it. Arguments against having such a goal are also considered.

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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.

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