Public Health Expert

Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case

Public Health Expert Oct 17, 2019

Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural importance and food security); (5) facilitating safe recreational water use; … Read More

Not forgetting the benefits to youth and non-smokers – an example from increases in tobacco taxes

Public Health Expert Sep 09, 2019

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Janet Hoek Tobacco control’s focus on supporting smokers to quit, thus reducing the harm they face (e.g., 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 … Read More

Meat, Health, Hospitals, and Sustainability

Public Health Expert Aug 26, 2019

Prof John Potter Achieving healthier diets that are also sustainable is increasingly in the news. In this blog, I look at the case for reducing the amount of meat in hospital meals and gently remind our dietitian colleagues not to let their dietary advice get out of date. Over-consumption of meat is costing us. Our health, our healthcare system, and … Read More

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What can we learn from Healthy Housing Initiatives? New evidence from the Wellington Well Homes scheme

Public Health Expert Jul 17, 2019

Elinor Chisholm, Nevil Pierse, Cheryl Davies, Philippa Howden-Chapman We know that poor housing conditions result in ill health for many New Zealanders, and we know which interventions are required to ensure good quality housing that supports health. Healthy Housing Initiatives intervene to improve the homes of kids who are hospitalised for illnesses that could be related to poor housing conditions. Read More

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How should we manage the harm caused by tobacco product waste?

Public Health Expert Jun 14, 2019

Professor Janet Hoek and Emeritus Professor Philip Gendall Annual consumption of cigarettes now exceeds five trillion, with around four trillion butts littered every year. These cigarette butts cause major environmental damage and impose significant clean-up costs on local authorities. Although tobacco companies have framed smokers as responsible for butt litter, recent debate has focused on the tobacco industry’s role … Read More

Lessons from Canada for NZ: Carbon, Cycling, Tobacco, Nutrition and Cannabis

Public Health Expert Apr 08, 2019

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 … Read More

Limiting the size of single serve sugary drinks: New NZ study on health and cost impacts

Public Health Expert Apr 01, 2019

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Helen Eyles There is a lot of focus on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) internationally, due to their role in tooth decay, obesity and diabetes [1-3], their lack of beneficial nutrients, and potential acceptability as an intervention target [4]. Our just-published study has shown that an intervention to reduce the size of all single-serve SSBs … Read More

Vaping very likely to improve health in NZ – but how does this compare with other options?

Public Health Expert Mar 27, 2019

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 … Read More

Lime E-Scooters – Avoiding a collision course with public health?

Public Health Expert Feb 11, 2019

Prof Janet Hoek, Assoc Prof George Thomson, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Caroline Shaw Currently introduced in four New Zealand cities, Lime electric scooters (e-scooters) have elicited varied responses. Proponents argue they will help reduce traffic density, thus bringing health and environmental benefits, while critics suggest they risk unacceptable overall harm to pedestrians, users themselves, and to taxpayers, who … Read More

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What does the EY Tobacco Excise Tax Evaluation Report mean for reaching the Smokefree 2025 Goal?

Public Health Expert Jan 24, 2019

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 [1]. The report’s recommendations, including continuing annual tax excise increases (conditional on positive … Read More