This week the Ministry of Health is taking tobacco giant Philip Morris to court. The Ministry of Health has laid charges against the New Zealand subsidiary of the multinational tobacco company relating to the importation and selling of its tobacco sticks known as HEETS.
The government has recently supported new fog cannon technology to deter theft in small stores like dairies. This technology has come about in response to the raised level of tobacco and cash-related violence used to gain entry into shops.
Fog cannon or ‘smoke screen’ security works by releasing a dense fog, usually a glycerine mixed with distilled water, hiding valuables and disorientating the intruder. The sudden release of smoke is intended to shock and confuse the intruder, forcing them to retreat from the property before taking any items.
The Lotteries Commission (Lotto) recently released an augmented reality (AR) app to coincide with Chinese New Year. The app links to an instant kiwi 'scratchie' which is purchased at retail outlets.
A New Zealand study has found that some people still find quitting smoking difficult, even when vaping is offered as a smoking cessation intervention. The Otago University study involved in-depth interviews with 20 vapers who still smoked traditional cigarettes regularly, in addition to vaping.
New research has been released which shows that vaping in New Zealand is a popular alternative for those wanting to quit smoking tobacco. A recent survey on vapers was conducted by Dr Penny Truman and colleagues at Massey University.
The excise tax on tobacco products increased on January 1 2018, but the increase hasn't been passed on to all retail products. New Zealand's largest Māori Public Health organisation, Hāpai Te Hauora, is concerned that this will limit the effectiveness of the tax increase to reduce smoking rates, and that tobacco companies should be forced to increase the prices of their products by the total percentage of the tax increase and the consumer price index (CPI).
Alcohol Healthwatch and Maori Public Health provider Hapai te Hauora strongly support the new Government’s commitment to addressing the growing needs and inequities surrounding mental health and addictions.
Anthony Hawke of Hapai te Hauora says, “The announcement of the Mental Health Inquiry is opportune as we mark the 5th birthday of our new liquor laws. The links between our growing problem with drinking and poor mental health need to be addressed. The Government was right to include addictions into the inquiry into mental health. In 2012 we had the chance to raise the price of alcohol and save lives. We didn't. Our communities paid the price. Now is the time for this to be remedied.”
Hāpai Te Hauora, has grave concerns for consumers of online gambling products recently launched by the Lotteries Commission. Hāpai work in problem gambling harm minimisation at a national and regional level, and they believe these products have immense potential for harm.
Hāpai welcomes the announcement and has formally invited the Prime Minister to receive a wahakura for her new baby.
Some major supermarkets across Aotearoa are now selling e-cigarettes. Meanwhile excise tax on tobacco products have increased by a further 10 percent this month.