Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa, George Thomson, Nick Wilson (author details*)
We congratulate the NZ Government on its proposed Action Plan for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal. Here we examine the evidence for three key ideas outlined in the plan: permitting tobacco products to be sold in only a small number of stores; reducing the nicotine in tobacco products to very low levels; and restricting the legal sale of tobacco products to people born before a certain fixed year (the “smokefree generation” idea).
George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards
In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to be smokefree would also increase the discretionary income of many of those most affected by the Covid-driven recession. We looked at the policies of seven New Zealand political parties and found that they are largely ignoring the strategies that would help smokers to become free of their nicotine addiction.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Jones, A/Prof George Thomson
Canada has a number of progressive public policies which can influence health. In this blog we briefly look at 6 potential lessons for NZ in the domains of: (i) responding to climate change; (ii) supporting cycling; (iii) tobacco control; (iv) controls on food marketing directed at children; (v) healthy food guidelines; and (vi) cannabis law reform.
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.