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News | HRC funding success for ASPIRE2025 projects

ASPIRE2025 researchers from the University of Otago and Massey University have been awarded over $3.0M in new health research funding from the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand. This funding will support a number of new tobacco control studies aimed at helping Aotearoa New Zealand achieve a smokefree nation by 2025.

Congratulations to:

Anaru Waa (Otago):  Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKE) $1,189,414
Janet Hoek (Otago): Supporting informed e-cigarette use: A mixed methods study $1,196,668
Janet Hoek (Otago): FASE: Feasibility assessment of smart e-cigarettes $149,750
Chris Cunningham (Massey): Me Mutu Kai Paipa – Improving the Provision of Cessation to New Zealand Smokers $577,720

To read more about these new studies, please see below:

Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKe)

Mr Anaru Waa (Public Health, University of Otago Wellington)
$1,189,414

The Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKe) research project will provide much needed high quality evidence for addressing smoking disparities between Māori and non-Māori and achieving a Tupeka Kore (Tobacco Free) Aotearoa 2025. TAKe will be conducted in partnership with Māori health providers and aligned to the indigenous arm of the International Tobacco Control Evaluation project. TAKe will focus on following a cohort of 700 Māori smokers over two surveys. It will also include a survey of tobacco control activities in participating locations and a qualitative study of whānau smokers. Findings will provide a unique and comprehensive picture of actual or potential national, regional and whānau influences on Māori smoking. Findings will be disseminated via Māori health provider workshops, seminars, peer reviewed journals, and conference presentations. The research team includes experts in Māori health, kaupapa Māori methodologies, and cohort studies. Community researchers will be employed as part of the study team.

Other Otago Named Investigators:

Ms Bridget Robson, Professor Richard Edwards, Dr James Stanley, Ms Ruruhira Rameka

Supporting informed e-cigarette use: A mixed methods study

Professor Janet Hoek (Marketing, University of Otago Dunedin)
$1,196,668

Although electronic cigarettes (ECs) could reduce the harm caused by smoking, they may also present risks. While smokers would benefit if they replaced smoked tobacco with ECs, many continue smoking and remain at risk of serious harm. Other risks include experimentation among non-smokers, which may lead to nicotine addiction, and unknown long term effects of EC use. Because EC promotions emphasise potential benefits without explaining risks, users are likely to have an incomplete understanding of ECs’ risks and benefits. We will examine how smokers, and susceptible non-smokers’ perceive and use ECs, and then develop and test information messages that communicate ECs’ potential risks and benefits. We will assess the impact these messages have relative to other product attributes. Our findings will promote more informed user decisions, support proportionate policies that minimise trial and uptake among non-smokers, and balance the potential benefits ECs may deliver against the risks they might pose.

Other Otago Named Investigators:

Professor Philip Gendall, Professor Richard Edwards, Mr Andrew Waa, Dr Rosalina Richards, Miss Lindsay Robertson

FASE: Feasibility assessment of smart e-cigarettes

Professor Janet Hoek (Marketing, University of Otago Dunedin)
$149,750

This small study examines the feasibility of using a Bluetooth enabled “smart” e-cigarette to estimate usage patterns. A self-completion ecological momentary assessment study will measure smoked tobacco use.

Me Mutu Kai Paipa – Improving the Provision of Cessation to New Zealand Smokers

Professor Chris Cunningham (Research Centre for Māori Health and Development, Massey University)
$577,720

Quitline is the world’s leading smoking cessation telephone line, supporting more than 500,000 attempts and helping more than 100,000 people stop smoking since 2000. It holds a large and unique dataset on case histories, successes and failures. The project will analyse this data in order to produce an algorithm to assist smoking cessation providers in making decisions when developing appropriate advice and support. Factors such as demographics, level of addiction, motivational status and previous attempts to stop smoking will be synthesised through the algorithm to produce customised, risk-adjusted guidance to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of advice provided. The algorithm will be available to all smoking cessation advisors and services in New Zealand to support the goal of Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.

For more information please contact
Anaru Waa
University of Otago, Wellington
email andrew.waa@otago.ac.nz

Janet Hoek
University of Otago, Dunedin
email janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz

Chris Cunningham
Massey University
email cwcunningham@xtra.co.nz