Public Health Expert

The hardening hypothesis for smoking – but does the evidence point to “softening” in NZ?

Public Health Expert Aug 22, 2016

By Prof Richard Edwards The hardening hypothesis suggests that as smoking prevalence declines, the remaining smokers will be the more addicted ones who are less likely to quit. But does the NZ evidence support this? This blog considers these issues and explores the potential implications for achieving NZ’s Smokefree 2025 goal. The ‘hardening hypothesis’ emerged in the 1980s and proposed … Read More

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Much scope for improvement: The NZ Health Research Strategy

Public Health Expert Jul 18, 2016

By Professor Nick Wilson The Government deserves congratulations for coming up with a Health Research Strategy. But the current Discussion Document needs a firmer strategic outlook with greater coherence. In this Perspective Blog a simple SWOT analysis is conducted and an alternative Vision Statement is proposed. It makes a lot of sense for a country to have a health … Read More

The likely harm from e-cigarettes compared to tobacco

Public Health Expert Jul 04, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Coral Gartner, Prof Richard Edwards This blog considers recent studies in which the biomarker levels in e-cigarette users (vapers) are compared to those from tobacco smokers. The results are highly variable but all suggest lower levels of risk to vapers relative to tobacco smokers. Yet as the situation with vaping is very dynamic (new products, changing … Read More

Modifying homes to prevent falls is very cost-effective: new NZ study

Public Health Expert Jun 13, 2016

By Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Dr Eamonn Deverall, Prof Tony Blakely A just published modelling study by the BODE3 Team has reported that “home safety assessment and modification” (e.g., adding hand rails and removing tripping hazards in homes) appears to be a very cost-effective health sector intervention. But even more cost-effective was targeting this intervention to older people … Read More

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Tobacco tax increases: new model measures impact

Public Health Expert May 30, 2016

By Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Nick Wilson, Tony Blakely On Thursday the NZ Government announced it would continue it’s programme of yearly 10% tobacco tax increases for the years 2017 to 2020 inclusive. Using our peer-reviewed BODE3 forecasting model, we project that with these additional four years of tax increases smoking prevalence in 2020 will be 21.4% for Māori … Read More

Data Explorer Tool: 30 years of NZ mortality and cancer data

Public Health Expert May 25, 2016

Dr George Disney, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely There are striking inequalities in cancer incidence and mortality in NZ, by both ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In this blog, we introduce an interactive online tool that enables anyone from researchers, policy-makers, journalists and health practitioners to access high quality data on these vital, population-level health statistics. Read More

Worth its weight: Building Insulation in New Zealand

Public Health Expert May 23, 2016

Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan   Building insulation provides comfort and health benefits to occupants, saves energy, enhances energy security, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This blog looks at these issues and wonders why the NZ Government is not doing more to enhance building performance and insulation standards when it is such a good investment. The recently … Read More

Progress on reducing retail availability of sugary drinks in NZ

Public Health Expert May 16, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Rob Beaglehole, Prof Tony Blakely New Zealand has made some progress in removing the sale of sugary drinks from hospitals and schools. In this blog we look at such successes to date and consider what could be done to further reduce availability of these products which are both harming oral … Read More

Unethical junk food marketing: Upgrading the advertising codes

Public Health Expert Apr 28, 2016

by Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, Alanna Soupen, University of Auckland Kiwis want tougher restrictions on junk food marketing to children. A Horizon Research poll conducted last year found 41% of Kiwi’s were strongly in favour of greater restrictions to reduce the advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks to children, and 32% “somewhat” in favour. About 6000 “ActionStation” members called … Read More

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