Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa*
New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) data was released in late November. In this blog, we assess whether the substantial reductions in smoking prevalence and increase in e-cigarette (EC) use/vaping observed in last year’s survey have continued. Key findings included:
- The accelerated decline in daily and current smoking prevalence first seen in 2020/21 continued into 2021/22, including among Māori and the most deprived population groups, but not among Pacific peoples.
- The greatest reduction in smoking prevalence since 2011/12 occurred among people aged <35 years with much smaller reductions among people aged ≥55 years.
- The rapid increase in prevalence of EC use seen in 2020/21 continued in 2021/22, with the increase greatest among young people aged <25 years.
We explore implications for the Smokefree Aotearoa goal and legislative and regulatory frameworks for smoking and ECs.
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Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa
This year’s World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) focusses on the tobacco industry’s continued targeting of young people, whose addiction to nicotine will help ensure the industry’s on-going profitability. World Smokefree Day’s social media handle #tobaccoexposed reminds us that, despite a new-found interest in ‘unsmoking’ the world, and moving smokers to “reduced harm” products, tobacco companies continue to develop and promote smoked tobacco products that will appeal to young people. In this blog, we explore how tobacco companies have continued to recruit young people to smoked tobacco; we discuss their efforts to infiltrate public health agendas while continuing to innovate with smoked tobacco, and explain why strong policies and industry denormalisation strategies are vital to ensuring young people remain nicotine free.
Lindsay Robertson1,2, Janet Hoek3, Anna Gilmore1, Richard Edwards 3, Anaru Waa3
1 Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath, UK; 2 Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, NZ; 3 Dept of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington, NZ
The public will soon have the opportunity to make submissions on the long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill (‘the Bill’) which will regulate vaping products and alternative nicotine delivery systems. In a previous blog, ASPIRE 2025 researchers summarised the strengths and limitations of the Bill, and concluded that it contained several important measures, yet could do more to protect the health of children, young people and non-nicotine users. This blog – intended as a follow-up article to further promote discussion – summarises emerging evidence of British American Tobacco’s ambitious plans for its nicotine products, and highlights the disjunction between tobacco companies’ profit goals and public health objectives.
Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson, George Thomson
Minister Jenny Salesa announced the Government’s long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill on Sunday 23 February. The Bill contains some important provisions as it works to strike a balance between ensuring regulated products are available to smokers wishing to quit, while at the same time minimising uptake by young people. Its proposed extension of prohibitions on advertising and sponsorship from tobacco products to all vaping and smokeless tobacco products, including e-liquids, are important steps. However, there are also opportunities for the Bill to go further to protect young people from vaping uptake. In this blog, we discuss the provisions, as summarised in the Ministry of Health’s Factsheet, and outline important questions that we argue the final Act should address.
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.