v. 1: 9. 15 Sept 06   FULL PRINTABLE VERSION: ON FILE AT www.endsmoking.org.nz/enewsSep06.pdf

2005 tobacco products consumption increased. Certainly no decrease


Short term trends are uneven, but no decrease was seen in 2004 after the ban on smoking in bars in Dec. 2004.

Since 1990, the price per gram of product has increased 74%.

Since 1990, consumption of dry tobacco has fallen 44%.

Since 1990, the trade's revenue per gram of product has increased 50%.

Since 1990, the trade's revenue has fallen only 2% in real terms.


The industry put less tobacco in each cigarette, but nicotine yields remained fairly stable.

(In any case nicotine smoke machine yields are a poor guide to actual delivery to the smoker.)

There has been a decrease in real terms of 11% (over $94 million) revenue from tobacco between 2000 and 2005.

Manufacturers’ returns for 2005 calendar year were analysed by Health New Zealand Ltd.

The report and 24 additional tables are available at http://www.ndp.govt.nz/tobacco/tobaccoreturns/2005/tobacco-returns-2005-report.pdf

NZ tobacco control programme excels on inputs but outcome effectiveness could be better

Recent analysis shows that the NZ tobacco control programme excels head and shoulders above any country in Europe including UK Ireland Finland, Norway and Sweden, in terms of having implemented stiff policies, in spending adequately on tobacco control, and providing for smoking cessation. (Based on Joossens and Raw Tobacco Control June 2006). This theme will be developed further as more data come to hand.


NZ tobacco control excels on inputs but not on outcomes

In a recent letter to the NZMJ on behalf of SmokeLess Dr Laugesen points out that the NZ government is spending much more (about four times as much per capita) as the Swedish Government in controlling tobacco, and Swedish cigarettes are twice as costly as in NZ in relation to income. Yet smoking rates are much lower in Sweden for men - presumably due to the widespread use of snuff displacing cigarettes as the preferred way to get nicotine. As a consequence lung cancer rates in Swedish men are very low.

Here, it is proving very difficult to persuade research bodies to get snus researched. No RCT has been done on snus as a stop smoking aid. Available information suggests it is two to four times as effective as nicotine patch or gum. Cessation workers have some desperate cases on their hands and ordering the stuff by internet is legal, but some proper research is essential.)

Snus has decreased Swedish male smoking and cancer rates below New Zealand levels (14% of Swedish men smoke, 20% use snuff; 23% of New Zealand men smoke). Snus’ clinical effectiveness needs testing by a randomised controlled trial. If New Zealand research can prove that nicotine-only products are just as effective, well and good.

The letter asks Government to look at the NZ tobacco control programme, and tweak in the direction of more choice for smokers - to put a smokeless nicotine fix on sale alongside cigarettes, at half the price. This could be snus or it could be pure nicotine - research is needed to assess both.

http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1241/2161/ (password required)

New analysis of tobacco harm reduction in the United States

Tobacco and Tobacco Products at a crossroads in the 21st Century - Scott D Ballin.

Dr Scott D Ballin, a lawyer lobbyist veteran of 25 years of tobacco control in Washington DC, was two-time chair of the Coalition on Smoking and Health in the US, and one of the first tobacco control lobbyists at the Capitol. The document can be downloaded in whole or in part. An executive summary is available. As is 'normal' in the US, where tobacco helped gain independence from the US, it is assumed that tobacco products will stay legal to sell. Lacking faith in Congress to grasp the nettle of regulation, he proposes an independent policy research institute, a safe haven, where all can find a safe place to debate these matters. More at http://www.tobaccoatacrossroads.com/

European SRNT Conference, Turkey

Dr Laugesen will attend the 4th SRNT Conference in Kusadasi Turkey 23-26 September and for some R&R (water turquoise in colour, 24 degrees), along with Dr Hayden McRobbie and Colin Howe from CTRU, U of Auckland. The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco is the biggest world society of scientists working to reduce tobacco use. Dr Laugesen will give a lecture at Harvard School of Public Health on 5 October on Snuffing out cigarette sales.

Fast nicotine steps up to the plate

Dr Hayden McRobbie Chris Bullen Simon Thorley et al have applied today to have several forms of fast nicotine approved for a small phase 3 trial as a cessation medicine. The research is sponsored by a Heart Foundation grant and by the manufacturer, Niconovum in Sweden. If approved for trial, 88 Aucklanders will assist in comparing the fast nicotine products against nicotine gum. The trial, of acceptability and effectiveness in relieving cravings, could be completed within a few months.

If successful, Niconovum products could make snus unnecessary for stopping smoking, but it all depends on the research results, and whether smokers will use these products.

Marlboro UltraSmooth fails to protect at normal puff volumes

Cigarettes are likely to remain as dangerous as ever for as far ahead as can be seen. Deliberately choosing to test emissions from the most hopefully reduced risk cigarette available, Laugesen and Fowles show in "Marlboro UltraSmooth - a potentially reduced risk cigarette?" in Tobacco Control to be published on October 1, that Marlboro UltraSmooth though excellent when the machine took shallow infrequent puffs, failed to reduce emissions below that of NZ Holiday at normal rates of depth of puff, and when nicotine yield was adjusted for. The paper concludes that since cigarette smoking incurs a 1 in 2 risk of early death, halving this risk still makes cigarette smoking unacceptably risky.

In the same Tobacco Control issue, watch also for Rob McGee's Tobacco Imagery on NZ Television 2002-4, and for the Wellington Medical School students work on Observed Smoking in cars - method and differences by socio-economic area.

Change of address

SmokeLess New Zealand is now at 36 Winchester St Lyttelton Christchurch 8082. ph 03 32 88 688.


Dr Murray Laugesen QSO chair; Prof Ross McCormick, Sir John Scott KBE, Trish Fraser MPH, Dr Marewa Glover, Trustees

Making it easier to quit smoking for good 2009 End Smoking NZ