Public Health Expert

And now the Brits are doing it: A sugary drink tax levy on the industry

Public Health Expert Apr 03, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn From 1 April 2018, the UK is putting in place a type of sugary drinks tax – actually a “soft drinks industry levy”. This blog reviews how they are doing it, early signs of its success, and ponders its relevance for NZ.  We also take this opportunity to … Read More

A century of health inequalities in NZ – new data

Public Health Expert Mar 26, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Tony Blakely Everyone knows that socio-economic inequalities in health exist – in recent times. But one thing we do not know is whether they have always been there. We have just published a study that looks at two historical datasets – with one of these suggesting life span differences by … Read More

Dietary counselling – how effective and cost-effective is it?

Public Health Expert Mar 20, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Prof Tony Blakely In this blog we consider recent literature (particularly reviews) on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of dietary counselling as a health intervention. Most studies suggest that dietary counselling is effective though the benefits are typically modest and short-term. The literature on cost-effectiveness … Read More

Standardised packaging: A new era in reducing tobacco marketing in NZ

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2018

Janet Hoek, Philip Gendall, Richard Edwards, Shayne Nahu, Nick Wilson From today, all tobacco products in New Zealand will start appearing in standardised, or plain, packages. In this blog, we discuss the importance of developing an on-going monitoring and evaluation plan around this intervention. We also explain why communications with smokers – whether on-pack or mass media – must be … Read More

Can we manage dual use of smoking and vaping more effectively?

Public Health Expert Feb 16, 2018

Professor Janet Hoek, Dr Lindsay Robertson, Ms Mei-Ling Blank, Dr Rosalina Richards Although most smokers want to quit, many of those who begin vaping continue to smoke. We recently probed this perplexing ambiguity and explored dual use of cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) [1]. In this blog, we summarise our findings and consider interventions that could encourage … Read More

Preventing falls can be very cost-effective in NZ

Public Health Expert Feb 06, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Dr Linda Cobiac, Prof Tony Blakely We have just published a modelling study on exercise programmes in NZ to prevent falls in older people. This work suggests that this approach (home-based or group-based exercise) is good value for money for the NZ Government. In this blog we consider these results alongside other fall prevention … Read More

What public health lessons can NZ still learn from the United States?

Public Health Expert Jan 30, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson The United States has many major health problems – including declining life expectancy and an exorbitantly expensive health care system. However, the large number of state and local governments provide a wealth of potential lessons that NZ could learn from. In this blog we briefly consider some of these, particularly in the domains of … Read More

The Havelock North drinking water inquiry: A wake-up call to rebuild public health in New Zealand

Public Health Expert Dec 21, 2017

Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Alistair Woodward The huge campylobacteriosis outbreak in Havelock North in August 2016 caused by contaminated drinking water was a public health disaster. The second report of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry describes a long list of failings that contributed to the outbreak. In this blog we argue that the failings are much … Read More

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Smokefree cars legislation: Should the new government make this a priority?

Public Health Expert Dec 12, 2017

George Thomson, Richard Edwards, Richard Jaine, Janet Hoek, Jude Ball, Nick Wilson This blog briefly reviews the case for the prioritisation by the new Government of a law for smokefree cars carrying children. This would demonstrate their commitment to children’s health and well-being, respond to public and smoker opinion, follow official and Parliamentary advice, and fit with the research evidence … Read More

Patterns of declining smoking in NZ – But more action needed by the new government

Public Health Expert Nov 21, 2017

By Nick Wilson, Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Anaru Waa, Tony Blakely Just published results from the NZ Health Survey indicate ongoing declines in smoking for Māori and for European New Zealanders. In this blog we comment on the possible reasons for these trends and describe recent work on how progress could be accelerated. The results … Read More