New Zealand features strongly in landmark edition of leading tobacco control journal

The journal Tobacco Control is 30 years old in 2022. Currently led by Editor-in-Chief Ruth Malone, the journal is a leading international public health journal (with a very high ‘impact factor’) that has stimulated debate and provided evidence about numerous tobacco control policy measures and other interventions to help end the smoking epidemic. The journal has been a strong advocate for tobacco endgames, racial equity and Indigenous engagement.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary the March edition featured a collection of articles on key current issues and debates. New Zealand authors (Bradbrook, Edwards, Gifford, Hoek, McCool, Robertson, Tautolo, Waa, Walker), including many from ASPIRE Aotearoa, and New Zealand-focused content feature strongly. We have brought together a collection of the articles with New Zealand content and authors, all of which are Open Access and can be accessed or downloaded from this website.

We hope you are able to explore these and other articles in this special issue of the journal.

Evaluating tobacco industry ‘transformation’: a proposed rubric and analysis.

Edwards R, Hoek J, Karreman N, Gilmore A.

Many tobacco companies claim they are transforming (transitioning away from harmful smoked tobacco) and now want to help realise public health goals, such as a smoke-free world. But what would a truly ‘transformed’ tobacco company look like? This paper proposes a definition and criteria for tobacco industry transformation, and assesses whether companies’ actions live up to their rhetoric.

Getting there together: highlights, challenges and opportunities for tobacco control in the Oceania region.

Gifford H, Tautolo E-S, McCool JP, Gartner C, Edwards R, Maddox R.

This paper reviews the successes, challenges, and future opportunities for tobacco control in New Zealand, Australia and The Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

What facilitates policy audacity in tobacco control? An analysis of approaches and supportive factors for innovation in seven countries.

Hefler M, Bianco E, Bradbrook S, Arnold D, Dorotheo EU.

Tobacco control policy audacity paves the way for long lasting effective change that spreads across the world. This review examines key exemplars of policy audacity in seven countries, including Aotearoa; it outlines the contexts and common factors that facilitated bold and innovative tobacco control policy interventions.

Understanding the long-term policy influence strategies of the tobacco industry: two contemporary case studies

Hird TR, Gallagher AWA, Evans-Reeves K, Zatoński M, Dance S, Diethelm PA, Edwards R, Gilmore AB.

The tobacco industry’s short-term tactics to obstruct tobacco control policies are well documented. However, longer term policy influence strategies have received less attention. This paper uses two case studies to explore commonalities and the global nature of the industry’s tactics, framed over several decades.  The findings highlight the need to monitor tobacco industry practices and continue advocating for global structural solutions to address corporate power.

From social accessory to societal disapproval: smoking, social norms and tobacco endgames.

Hoek J, Edwards R, Waa A.

Smoking’s social acceptability rose quickly but has declined for several years. What fostered these changes and is denormalization the final phase of smoking’s trajectory? This paper proposes we are entering an ‘endgame phase’, where the tobacco industry is repositioning itself as a solution to the smoking epidemic while simultaneously opposing structural changes that would help realise the tobacco endgame. The authors outline industry strategies and suggest responses to these.

Reflections on Indigenous commercial tobacco control: ‘The dolphins will always take us home’.

Maddox R, Bovill M, Waa A, Gifford H, Tautolo E-S, Henderson PN, Martinez S, Clark H, Bradbrook S, Calma T.

This paper comments on how Indigenous peoples’ experiences of colonisation are often intimately linked to high rates of commercial tobacco use. As a result Indigenous peoples have often played leading roles in resisting commercial tobacco. The paper highlights the importance of recognising the context, perspectives and engagement of Indigenous peoples in tobacco control planning and implementation.

Plain tobacco packaging: progress, challenges, learning and opportunities.

Moodie P, Hoek J, Hammond D, Gallopel-Morvan K, Sendoya D, Rosen L, Özcan B, van der Eijk, Y. 

This paper overviews progress in implementing and strengthening plain (or standardised) packaging in the ten years since Australia introduced this policy. The paper outlines how countries have built on Australia’s approach by expanding the legislative scope and more effectively anticipating industry responses. Nonetheless, the paper identifies loopholes tobacco companies have exploited; it concludes by suggesting measures to address these and calling for comprehensive evaluation.

Closing the gaps in tobacco endgame evidence: a scoping review.

Puljević C, Morphett K, Hefler M, Edwards R, Walker N, … Hoek J, et al.

This paper outlines the key endgame policies for achieving minimal smoking prevalence and identifies the available evidence reviews for each policy. The review identifies major evidence gaps. It makes recommendations for how future research could address these gaps and inform evidence syntheses to better inform endgame policy development and appraisal.  

Need for continued tobacco industry monitoring.

Robertson L.

The rapidly evolving alternative nicotine delivery product sector has made tobacco control and the landscape of policy actors more complex, and potential conflicts of interest more difficult to determine. This commentary argues that the future of tobacco control depends in large part on the sector’s capacity to continue monitoring and exposing tobacco companies’ activities, particularly their attempts to influence policy and to skew the evidence base in support of new nicotine products.

From Perth to Wellington: a 30-year journey

Warner KE.

This editorial gives a brief overview of the 30-year history of tobacco control, from conception to maturity, such that envisioning a smoke-free society has now become feasible in many jurisdictions. The editorial argues that Aotearoa is the first country to put words into action, having developed an ambitious plan to rid their country’s population of the scourge of smoking once and for all.