Public Health Expert

Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward

Public Health Expert Jan 16, 2020

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 … Read More

Ten things we can learn from new smoking and vaping data about progress to Smokefree Aotearoa 2025

Public Health Expert Dec 17, 2019

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. Read More

Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?

Public Health Expert Dec 02, 2019

Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year 10 survey data have been interpreted as suggesting few young … Read More

New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index

Public Health Expert Nov 11, 2019

Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to act promptly to upgrade the country’s defences against pandemic threats. Read More

Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research

Public Health Expert Nov 07, 2019

Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal access. However, others suggest smoked tobacco should be much less … Read More

“Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected

Public Health Expert Oct 31, 2019

Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items to include in an integrated strategy to improve our waterways: … Read More

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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