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.
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.
Dr Richard Jaine, Dr Nisha Nair and Professor Tony Blakely
There is now strong evidence that screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans is effective at reducing lung cancer mortality. So why aren’t countries rushing to introduce a screening programme? Because there is still doubt about its cost-effectiveness. In this blog, we discuss the uncertainties and suggest a way forward for New Zealand.
Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Christine Cleghorn, William Leung, Dr Osman David Mansoor
Are smartphone apps for weight loss and smoking cessation well-designed? We were involved in a study published in last Friday’s NZ Medical Journal that tried to answer that question from a NZ public health perspective. In this blog we discuss what we found and its implications for ‘what next’ for using these new technological tools for health research and promotion in NZ.
Professor Tony Blakely, Associate Professor Nick Wilson
Smoking rates have fallen in the 2013 Census compared to the 2006 Census (from 20.7% to 15.1% in adults aged 15+). The results generally fit with other evidence and are good news for health in NZ. And late today Tariana Turia has announced that rates for Māori have fallen nearly 10 percentage points from 2006 to 2013, or from 42.2% to 32.7%. Which is fantastic news.
This blog considers the results in more detail (for all ethnic groups combined, as Māori data is not yet on the Statistics NZ website), and asks what else could be done to accelerate progress towards a smokefree nation.