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Tag Archives: tobacco

Tobacco excise and living costs at the bottom

Statistics New Zealand's Household Living Costs Index again points to tobacco excise as imposing substantial cost: Māori and beneficiary households feel the greatest impact from higher cigarette prices 30 April 2020, 10:45amHigher cigarette and tobacco prices hit Māori and beneficiary households the most in the March 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today.Each quarter, the household living-costs price indexes calculate how inflation affects different groups in society, while the consumers price...

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Compare and contrast: Covid-19 funding edition

On 24 February, New Zealand's Health Research Council announced that up to $3m would be available for Covid-19 research. We're pleased to announce up to $3 million in funding will be made available for a range of research projects to address the current COVID-19 threat as well as future infectious diseases. @minhealthnz @SunnyCollings https://t.co/6wSNVyLmsD — HRC New Zealand (@HRCNewZealand) February 24, 2020 The Spinoff reported on Friday 17 April that they've awarded $3.8 million to...

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Public health, risk communication, and vaping

The editorial in the January 2020 issue of Drug and Alcohol Review worries that poor communication around illness caused by vaping illicit THC-based products in the US has risks: The US investigation is still ongoing and the health authorities investigating the outbreak have not definitively identified the exact chemical that has caused the lung damage, which may be a chemical formed from vitamin E acetate. However, over the past 6 months, the evidence has strengthened considerably that...

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Afternoon roundup

The worthies on a much-belated closing of the browser tabs:Zero waste protesters have been sending their rubbish to MPs using Parliament's Freepost service. Could the rest of us do the same if central government waste disposal levies make using landfill a bit more expensive than it really ought to be? Nice piece in The Atlantic on Article 25 of the Constitution, which allows for the removal of a President medically unfit for office. Trump's speech in which he talked about building a wall in...

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Keeping up with the state of play on vaping

I was looking around the other day for something like this. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has started tallying up all the reported cases of 'vaping-related' illness in the US.THC-vaping, and especially illicit vape cartridges, feature prominently, but there are other cases where that's not yet pinned down. As Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a cardiologist, recently wrote, a sudden outbreak in a short period of time and in a specific geographic region (so far this appears restricted to...

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Don’t get your vaping news from Radio New Zealand

There have been a lot of news reports out of the United States over the past month on people coming down suddenly with severe lung problems, with those news reports often linking the problems to vaping. Sometimes the story would note that the vaped substance wasn't the typical nicotine e-liquid, but rather a THC-based one. And even more rarely the story would note that the THC cartridge had been purchased from a strange street dealer, or was counterfeit.More stories started coming out...

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Of Cinderella, vaping, and decent regulatory frameworks

Over in my Dominion Post column, I take a Peter Huber twist on vaping regulation. One of the things I love about my column over there is that they keep all the out-links. So when I note work by Huber, I can link it.  Eighties glam-metal band Cinderella taught us we don't know what we've got until it's gone. But it can be harder to know what you could have had if you never had it at all.We can thus be thankful the regulatory framework for vaping and reduced-harm tobacco alternatives is...

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Morning Roundup

The closing of a big set of browser tabs brings a few gems.Rohan Pearce at Computerworld notes a warning from the Law Council of Australia that Oz's encryption law breaks a few international privacy standards, and could then come into conflict with GDPR.  Jacob Sullum at Reason goes through some shonky anti-vaping research that claims vaping causes heart attacks, but that ignores that the heart attacks happened before the smokers switched to vaping. Shoeshine over at the NBR warns that woke...

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Taxing tobacco in a world of vaping

If you're in Auckland, come catch me in a LEANZ panel discussion on tobacco tax, along with Marewa Glover and Peter Wilson.  Here's the blurb; register at the link above. Tobacco taxes are both an important source of revenue and an attempt to deter behaviour that can lead to social costs (e.g. healthcare costs from both active and passive smoking). Even in a world with just traditional tobacco products such taxes may not be as effective as their advocates would wish, leading to...

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Reducing harm or barking at cars?

Me at Newsroom: There’s an old joke about the neighbourhood dog that loved to chase cars down the road – what would it ever do if it caught one?The Government has been a bit like that with tobacco harm reduction. A very promising car has come around the corner and stopped. And the puzzled dog is standing there growling at it.For decades, government has wanted to reduce smoking rates. Why? Smoking causes cancer, myriad respiratory problems, and shortens lives.To reduce smoking, government...

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