Public Health Expert

Making tobacco less available is both necessary and feasible – New NZ study

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2018

Dr Lindsay Robertson* In our recently published work, we studied the impact of the NZ Government preventing new retail outlets from selling tobacco from 2020, while allowing existing retail outlets to continue selling it until they closed or relocated. The estimated outcome would be a 50% decrease in the total number of tobacco retail outlets by 2032. This blog puts … Read More

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Screening for lung cancer in NZ is highly unlikely to be cost-effective: New NZ study

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2018

Dr Richard Jaine, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely There is reasonably strong evidence screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans is effective at reducing lung cancer mortality. However, new research suggests it is highly unlikely to be cost-effective in NZ. We have just published the first NZ study to examine the cost-effectiveness of … Read More

A 100 years ago today – the likely first NZ death from the 1918 influenza pandemic

Public Health Expert Aug 28, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The 1918 influenza pandemic began to kill New Zealanders 100 years ago today. Ultimately it killed 9000 NZ citizens and so is by far the largest natural disaster to hit this country. In this blog we reflect on this event and draw links with the present day pandemic risks (including from … Read More

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Closing New Zealand’s Borders to Mitigate a Severe Pandemic has Merit

Public Health Expert Aug 09, 2018

Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Osman Mansoor & Prof Michael Baker Should an island nation like New Zealand close its borders in the face of a severe pandemic threat? In a SciBlogs post last year we argued ‘yes’. We have just published additional modelling that also comes to this conclusion. In a severe pandemic tens to hundreds … Read More

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The case for lowering salt levels in processed foods is now even stronger – new research

Public Health Expert Jun 26, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Prof Tony Blakely The scientific case for lowering dietary salt intakes became a bit confused in recent years by studies which suggested that both low sodium (salt) intake and high sodium intake were associated with higher risk of death. But new research suggests that low sodium intakes are not associated with … Read More

Capitalising on NZ’s linked data by increasing IT and researcher capacity: Opportunity is knocking

Public Health Expert Jun 19, 2018

Tony Blakely, Andrea Teng, Sheree Gibb, Nhung Nghiem, Barry Milne, Andrew Sporle, Gabrielle Davies, Nevil Pierce, Ruth Cunningham, and on behalf of the Virtual Health Information Network A key strategic advantage for NZ and research is our national routinely-collected datasets.  This can generate new knowledge in academia, service delivery and policy.  Conversely, NZ has some key barriers to … Read More

How much of Māori:European mortality inequalities are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco?

Public Health Expert Jun 15, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson Policy-makers need to know how much of ethnic inequalities in health are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco smoking, but quantifying this is surprisingly difficult. In this Blog, and accompanying video, we summarize new research using NZ’s linked census-mortality data, blended with innovative new ‘counterfactual’ methods to determine causal relationships … Read More

Smoke, heat or vapour? Ideas for risk-proportionate regulation to make World Smokefree Day irrelevant by 2025

Public Health Expert May 31, 2018

Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa, Janet Hoek, Louise Thornley, Nick Wilson. ASPIRE 2025, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington World Smokefree Day is an apt day on which to propose some ideas that may greatly increase momentum for the achieving Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. Tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes vary greatly in their likely adverse health effects … Read More

A public health perspective on taxing harmful products

Public Health Expert Apr 17, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn The New Zealand Government has set up a Tax Working Group to consider reforms of the tax system. In this blog we briefly discuss some of the opportunities for tax reform that will potentially improve health and lower … Read More

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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

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