New Zealand’s tobacco endgame polices: Cause to celebrate, or harmful folly?

Time: 16:10 - 16:25

Date: Friday 9th December, 2022

Aotearoa New Zealand’s government has tabled some of the world’s most aggressive tobacco control policy with an explicit focus on smoked tobacco. Endgame legislation proposes to remove nicotine from all smoked tobacco, drastically reduce supply by 95%, and ban the sale of smoked tobacco to anyone born after January 2009. The aim being to reduce smoking rates to under 5% by 2025. The proposed smoking endgame legislation builds on recent laws regulating the sale and use of vaping products. A harm reduction approach ensures vaping is accessible to adult smokers, whilst protecting never-smokers from taking up vaping. New Zealand’s liberal approach to vaping is seen as prerequisite to highly aggressive policies that will restrict and devalue smoked tobacco. For many the smoking endgame policy represents the peak of New Zealand’s history of tobacco control leadership, for others it creates deep concerns about coercive approaches to people who smoke. This talk will outline the context for New Zealand’s endgame legislation, the role of vaping and harm reduction, and examine perspectives around what these policies might mean for public health, social justice and health equity.

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