Hāpai/ Otago University partnership secures over $3 mil for tobacco control research

As New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 deadline draws closer, the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) has just awarded $4.95 million in funding for the Whakahā o Te Pā Harakeke programme. This programme will be led in partnership by Otago University, Hāpai Te Hauora, Kōkiri Marae, Keriana Olsen Trust, and ESR.

The programme aims to develop and improve ways to close smoking disparities for Māori and Pasifika as well as push towards a Smokefree Aotearoa. Whakahā o Te Pā Harakeke is one of only five to receive Programme Funding from the Health Research Council.

Spotlight On ... Psychological effects of plain packaging cigarettes

In March, the government introduced plain packaging as part of a comprehensive tobacco control programme. This means tobacco companies are no longer be able to sell cigarettes in branded packaging; instead they are sold in generic olive brown packets retaining the enlarged graphic health warnings which are already prominent on the current branded packets. Justinn Cochran has spent the last four years researching the effects of tobacco packaging. We talk to her about her work, the psychological impact of tobacco imagery and how this can contribute to the country’s smokefree 2025 goal.