Managing Smokefree Momentum: Young RYO Smokers’ Responses to Tobacco Endgame Strategies

Image - Managing Smokefree Momentum Young RYO Smokers’ Responses to Tobacco Endgame Strategies

The policy measures of Smokefree 2025 have made significant gains towards a smokefree future for NZ. Yet there is still resistance. Recent research from the University of Otago explores how young RYO smokers resist tobacco denormalisation and make sense of the stigma they experience as RYO smokers.

This article identifies how smoking denormalisation affects practices and pleasures for young RYO smokers and generates four discernible positions of resistance: Socialised, Comfort, Status and Pleasure Orientated Resistances. These highlight intersections between policy initiatives and consumer resistance. The article offers new insights relevant to public policy for each type of resistance.

Lead author, Senior Lecturer Shelagh Ferguson from the Department of Marketing, Otago Business School says that resistance to Smokefree goals is an unintended consequence of denormalisation.

“Whilst resistance is unsurprising, our research explains how different types of resistance develop. These differences required nuanced policy responses to avoid further entrenching young RYO smokers into positions of resistance.”

For further information contact:

Shelagh Ferguson
Department of Marketing
Otago Business School Dunedin

Professor Janet Hoek
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington