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.
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.
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.
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.
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn
The New Zealand Government has set up a Tax Working Group to consider reforms of the tax system. In this blog we briefly discuss some of the opportunities for tax reform that will potentially improve health and lower health costs, reduce health inequalities and enhance environmental sustainability.