An article from the Otago Daily Times by Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek and Andrew Waa.
Public health practitioners are used to frustration and disappointment. Until recently, calls to introduce evidence-based interventions to improve health, such as sugary drink taxes and controls on alcohol marketing, have been mostly ignored or have foundered due to political timidity in the face of lobbying by powerful vested interests. Public health gains have mostly been modest and infrequent.
However, it seems the times may be changing.
First, New Zealand’s pandemic response was politically bold, science-driven, and prioritised safeguarding population health over other considerations. It has rightly been praised all around the world. Now, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has proposed a plan to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa goal of having minimal numbers of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.