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An article by Simon Chapman: Has New Zealand lost its way on tobacco control?

Image of Simon Chapman

An article that many of us in Tobacco Control in New Zealand are reflecting on. Worth publishing in New Zealand.

Written by Simon Chapman an Emeritus Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney. He has published over 500 articles in peer reviewed journals and 19 books and major reports. In 2003 he was voted by his international peers to be awarded the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control. In 2008 Simon was a NSW finalist in Australian of the Year.

Not Out Tikanga Mural

Street art has its roots in the gritty streets of New York City during the 60’s and 70’s and was where the term graffiti first became prominent.

Wero Challenged

The mental health sector may be the last bastion where smoking is allowed. There has always been a prevailing attitude that mental health clients are already under enough stress and smoking is a great way to relieve that stress. It used to be a fairly normal occurrence to see mental health staff and clients share cigarette time together. Observationally at least it would seem that the smoking rates for both staff and client within mental health are higher than that of general population.

The Smokefree Generation

The smoke free generation

There is a concept bandied about at the moment called the smokefree generation. An example of how it works goes like this. If you were born after the year 2000, you will no longer be able to purchase tobacco. These people will be known as the tobacco free generation. Proactive? Discriminatory? Innovative?

Licensed to Smoke

There’s an idea going around that if people wish to purchase tobacco they will need a licence. How it works, a person wanting to buy tobacco would apply for a smart swipe-card licence and retailers could sell cigarettes only to cardholders. Before receiving a licence, smokers would have to pass a test of smoking risk knowledge. It is expected that there will be an annual licensing fee.

Is it right? Or left

Saving the public from themselves is a difficult job and since the dawn of democracy there has always been one never ending conflict. One side believes that one’s status is entirely due to their actions.  Therefore if you are unhealthy, it’s your fault because it’s your personal responsibility to keep yourself in a good health. On the other side of the coin there is the belief that we have no control over our own lives. If you are unhealthy, it’s more to do with the system than your own actions. We are just flotsam carried to and fro by the tides of power.

Perth Based Oceania Tobacco Control Conference

Anaru Waa is a Researcher/Lecturer of Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, the Dept of Public Health Otago University. He gives his perspective on the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference held in Perth Oct 2015.

1.      What were two of your highlights from the recent Perth Based Oceania Tobacco Control Conference?

Around the Motu

Anaru Waa a senior researcher in Department of Public Health; the University of Otago presented at the biennial Oceania  Tobacco Control Conference in Perth Australia. His kaupapa addressed the NZ 2025 goal, the possible pathway options and their impact on te iwi Māori. The kōrero below is written by Anaru Waa.

RadioNZ - Tobacco Tax Increase

Two Māori women Lindi Rule and Arnia Tamihana-Simich have for many years wanted to quit and the tax increases were creating financial pressure on them both. For Lindi tax increases and the desire to be around for her young grandchildren were the key factors that gave her the extra push she needed to quit. Arnia is 22 money was always the motivating force behind her desire to quit. Tax increases coupled with finding out she was pregnant did the trick. She has not smoked since.

Te Karere - Tobacco tax increase

Māori smoking statistics have been decreasing but not by enough according to the National Māori Tobacco Control Leadership Service. The government imposed a 10% increase on tobacco tax four years however, there is no indication that this will continue. Many experts believe that larger increases less often will have more of an impact that numerous small increases.

Call For 20% Tobacco Tax Increase

The National Māori Tobacco Control Leadership Service is calling for a 20% tobacco tax increase.

Click here for full article.

Te Kāea - Tobacco Tax Increases

A very interesting article. While people at the select committee debate the merits or otherwise of tobacco tax. Maiki Sherman a reporter at Maori TV brings us a very human story about the battles of George Jordan with his tobacco addiction. The rise in tobacco taxes and the massive costs forced George to explore other options in order to continue smoking. He even grew his own tobacco which provided him with 7 months supply. However, once his supply dwindled, he was forced to pay. His last comment is very poingant. "I know there are a lot of old schoolers who will just keep paying.


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