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.
Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa – ASPIRE 2025 and University of Otago
This blog comments on the Ernst and Young (EY) report to the Ministry of Health, which evaluated tobacco excise tax increases as a strategy for achieving the Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal . The report’s recommendations, including continuing annual tax excise increases (conditional on positive impacts demonstrated in enhanced monitoring) and implementing comprehensive and multi-faceted complementary measures, are highly consistent with those made in the NZ tobacco control sector’s Achieving Smokefree Aotearoa Plan (ASAP) launched a year previously . The report strengthens the overwhelming case for implementing a Government-led, comprehensive strategy to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal equitably for all peoples in Aotearoa.
Janet Hoek and Philip Gendall
Major tobacco companies have presented a vision of a smokefree world, where smoking prevalence has fallen to minimal levels. This goal has much in common with national tobacco endgame goals and appears to create opportunities for health researchers and smokefree advocates to work collaboratively with a well-resourced industry to achieve a common goal. Yet, despite their public statements, tobacco companies continue to develop new products, such as flavour capsule cigarettes, that enhance smoking’s appeal. This product innovation strategy confirms long-held doubts about the sincerity of tobacco companies’ intentions. We report on our recently published study that examined how flavour capsule cigarettes appeal to non-smokers and smokers.
Dr Lindsay Robertson*
In our recently published work, we studied the impact of the NZ Government preventing new retail outlets from selling tobacco from 2020, while allowing existing retail outlets to continue selling it until they closed or relocated. The estimated outcome would be a 50% decrease in the total number of tobacco retail outlets by 2032. This blog puts these results into the context of tobacco control options for NZ.
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.