More innovative measures are needed to reach the smoke-free goal – study
New Zealand needs more innovative tobacco control measures if it is to meet its 2025 smoke-free target, according to a study from the University of Otago.
Funded by a grant from the Health Research Council program and published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the study presents the results of in-depth interviews with 20 people who smoked daily, were aged 21 to 53, and earned less. than the median income. . The survey explored participants’ smoking histories and their views on tobacco control policies, including potential tobacco control measures.
Principal author Ivana Barbalich
Lead author Ivana Barbalich, a third-year Otago medical school student, says that while all study participants smoked, several were in favor of innovative measures.
“For example, participants supported reducing the nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and saw this measure as likely to help reduce their nicotine addiction and become non-smokers.
“They also wanted more intensive personal support to help them quit smoking, but despite their own sometimes difficult financial situation, they did not agree with a proposal that people would be paid to quit smoking,” says -she.
The program’s lead author and principal investigator, Professor Janet Hoek, says there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will help New Zealand meet its 2025 smoke-free target and reduce the prevalence of smoking in all population groups.
“We need a comprehensive strategy that includes the different measures supported by our participants and which we know are likely to be effective from larger surveys and modeling studies.
“We have a crucial opportunity with the Action Plan for a Smoke-Free Environment to incorporate more diverse measures that change the structure of the tobacco market. We have done a lot to reduce the demand for tobacco by reducing advertising and promotion, but we need to change the way tobacco products are designed and delivered, if we are to achieve the 2025 Smoke Free target. ”
New Zealand needs more innovative measures, but in particular “we need to recognize that tobacco companies are not legitimate businesses selling normal everyday products, and we need to stop treating them as if they are. ‘were,’ says Professor Hoek.
“We also need to understand that becoming a non-smoker is not simply a matter of swapping one source of nicotine for another; it means recreating rituals that can provide social bonding, comfort and relaxation.
“That’s why we need to make sure that the support we put in place to help people quit smoking is more comprehensive, more accessible and sustained over a longer period of time. Greater resources for community programs could provide the more intensive support people seek and reduce feelings of isolation they expressed. “
Ms Barbalich says the study also raises important questions about how smoking is managed.
“Smoking is often understood as a choice or a habit, not an addiction; we need to challenge that framing, recognize that the vast majority of people who smoke want to quit, and think more carefully about how we help these people become non-smokers, ”she says.
“Smoking is often implied as a choice or a habit, not an addiction, and this needs to be challenged.
“Presenting smoking as a choice blames people for continuing a behavior that many desperately want to stop and reinforces the misconception that they can control their addiction. As 2025 approaches, fostering compassion for people who smoke can be as crucial as reducing the availability of and addiction to cigarettes. “