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News | Further funding for innovative ASPIRE2025 research

ASPIRE2025 deputy director, Professor Janet Hoek has received $503,000 to pursue innovative research into smokefree messages as part of a follow-up to the Health Research Council’s (HRC) recent annual funding round.

This project will develop and test new on-packet tobacco warnings and smoke-free messages so that these better encourage quitting among different sub-groups of smokers.

New evidence suggests smoking addiction increasingly occurs among young adults, whose smoking prevalence, particularly among Māori and Pacific, remains disproportionately high.

Professor Hoek says that while on-packet warnings do promote quit attempts among some smokers, cessation rates could be enhanced if these warnings better recognised and influenced the very different sub-groups within the wider smoker population.

The project, titled “SMIRQ: Smokefree Messages: Interpretations, Responses and Quitting” aims to provide an evidence base that results in more effective on-pack warnings and campaigns linked to these.

This project will extend pilot work undertaken by members of the ASPIRE2025 research theme, apply international findings to New Zealand, and test how young adult non-smokers, smokers, and recent quitters interpret and respond to social, denormalisation, second-hand smoke, and health warning themes.

Professor Hoek says the outcome will, for the first time, inform use of more targeted and salient messages that better address inequalities among young adult smokers.

“New measures to deter smoking initiation, encourage quitting, and maintain smoke-free behaviour among this group will be key to achieving the goal of a smoke-free Aotearoa by 2025,” she says.

Team members also include Professor Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall and Dr Ninya Maubach, who are all members of ASPIRE2025.

For more information, contact:

Professor Janet Hoek

Department of Marketing

University of Otago

Tel 03 479 7692

Email: janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz