The New Zealand Ministry of Health has launched the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
One important part of this plan is to pass a law so that the only smoked tobacco products available for sale in New Zealand contain relatively little nicotine.
This would mean reducing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other smoked tobacco (e.g., loose tobacco used for roll-your own; cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos) by 95% or more. Only tobacco that met that standard would be sold legally within New Zealand.
The number of outlets allowed to sell smoked tobacco products will also likely reduce and the age at which people can legally buy these products will be raised over time.
What do people think?
As a person living in New Zealand, you can join the Opinions On Smoking Panel and share your whakaaro/thoughts, concerns and needs.
This university research project also has a United States partner – as the world looks on at what might happen as this Smokefree policy comes into force…
You can be heard and complete your first short survey by joining the panel right now.
This study is being undertaken by researchers at the University of Auckland and Wake Forest University School of Medicine in USA. Professor Chris Bullen is the lead investigator of this study in New Zealand. Professor Bullen is a health researcher based at a research centre called the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), in the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Professor Eric Donny, Wake Forest University School of Medicine USA, is a researcher with a special interest in evaluating new nicotine standards for cigarettes and has obtained a grant from the National Institute for Health (NIH) to complete this study.
For this study we will establish a panel of people living in New Zealand to follow over time as the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan is put in place.
We want to understand their views around smoking tobacco cigarettes as the New Zealand government plans to change its policies around tobacco.
We will gather the views of people who take part through a series of short online surveys and for participants who are willing, an additional one to one telephone interview and/or an in person visit.
The findings from this study will be used to inform the New Zealand government’s tobacco policy processes, the US Food and Drug Administration’s Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulations and help plan for a new study around the impact of low nicotine tobacco in New Zealand.
This study will run from October 2022 for six to nine months.
We’re asking people from research panels to join and using social media and direct advertising to let people know about joining the study.
First, you will answer a few questions to help us know if you can take part in the study. If you agree to take part, you will be invited to join the “Opinions on Smoking Panel”.
If you are interested in taking part, you can consent and join at our Sign Up page.
You’ll then be invited to do your first survey, which will confirm you qualify to be a member.
The first short survey asks about your ethnicity, nicotine and tobacco use, use of alcohol and cannabis and your wellbeing.
The next four surveys ask about your thoughts on smoking and the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. These online surveys should take you around 5 minutes to complete and no more than 10 minutes.
We will invite 72 people who complete the second survey to participate in a telephone interview with University of Auckland researchers (taking about 30-45 minutes) to discuss the government’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
The interview results will be used to help us know the right questions to ask in the following online surveys.
You will be asked for consent to take part at the beginning of the interview. Interviews will be conducted by staff from NIHI located at University of Auckland who are matched to the people in the panel groups. Your conversation will be audio-recorded and then transcribed, word-for-word, after the interview to be analysed by the researchers. For your protection, your name and any identifying information about you or other people will be excluded from the transcript.
We will also invite up to 50 people to take part in in-person visits. All people who complete Survey 2 will be invited to provide a saliva sample to be stored in freezers for the research team to test for tobacco or nicotine use at a later date. No other tests will be done on the provided saliva.
If we obtain further funding, we hope to retain the same panel of people for further surveys beyond 2023. We will inform participants who complete Survey 6 about future research opportunities.
Join now to share your opinions on smoking and health - and influence health policy in New Zealand and overseas.
There are no immediate direct benefits to you for participating in this study, however your participation will help us understand people’s views on the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
This information is likely to assist the decisions made by governments in New Zealand and worldwide about regulating tobacco products.
We do not anticipate any risks with this study. However, for some people, the questions around smoking, alcohol or mental health could be upsetting.
If you experience mamae/ distress, there is free and confidential support available through the following help lines:
• National helpline. Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
• Quitline on 0800 778 778 for support and advice about your smoking
• Alcohol Drug Helpline’ on 0800 787 797, if you are concerned about your own or some else’s alcohol use