New modelling research from the University of Otago Wellington, has pointed out the most effective ways for reducing smoking in line with the country’s smokefree goal by 2025, and are hence urging the government to consider incorporating these strategies. Lead author Frederieke Sanne van der Deen thinks that unless further action is taken, smoking rates will remain at moderate levels, especially among the Maori population.
“There has been some recent progress, such as an extension of the yearly tobacco tax increases until 2020, the adoption of standardised tobacco packaging, and the announcement that nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes will be legalised, but there is still no detailed NZ Government strategy in place to get the country to Smokefree 2025,” she added.
Tobacco endgame strategies
The researchers calculated the impacts of a range of novel and bold measures, known as tobacco endgame strategies, on future smoking prevalence, population health, and health sector costs, by using a computer simulation. And while many new tobacco endgame strategies have been recently put forward both in New Zealand and internationally, available research about their effectivity is very limited.
“This research shows that more urgent action is needed from the NZ Government to act on its officially supported Smokefree goal — at the very minimum it needs to develop an action plan of how achieve the Smokefree goal particularly for, and with, Māori. With just eight years until 2025, we have to get moving. Continuing with the current strategy is certainly not enough,” concluded Ms van der Deen.