Public Health Expert

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

Artificially sweetened beverages: What does the latest evidence tell us on health benefits versus harm?

Public Health Expert Nov 29, 2018

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Andrea Teng, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is an important current policy issue internationally. One suggested strategy is for people to swap to artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs). But there are multiple concerns about potential health risks of ASBs – although limited evidence and hard data. This … Read More

100 years ago today a Death Ship from NZ Arrived in Samoa: A Reminder of NZ’s Responsibilities to its South Pacific Neighbours

Public Health Expert Nov 07, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Ramona Tiatia Today is the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Talune in Western Samoa. This single ship spread the influenza pandemic from NZ to Western Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Thanks to the Rt Hon Helen Clark, there has been an official apology to Samoa … Read More

The health impacts of the First World War for NZ: A Review

Public Health Expert Oct 30, 2018

Nick Wilson, George Thomson, Jennifer A Summers, Glyn Harper, Evan Roberts This blog summarises our just-published article on the mortality and morbidity impacts of the First World War on the NZ population. While much is known about the large health burden of this conflict (especially for the direct participants), there are still various knowledge gaps eg, for the health … Read More

Tobacco product innovation in a smokefree world. Oxymoron or commercial cynicism?

Public Health Expert Oct 23, 2018

Janet Hoek and Philip Gendall Major tobacco companies have presented a vision of a smokefree world, where smoking prevalence has fallen to minimal levels.  This goal has much in common with national tobacco endgame goals and appears to create opportunities for health researchers and smokefree advocates to work collaboratively with a well-resourced industry to achieve a common goal.  Yet, … Read More

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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