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Webinar | Smoking in NZ Pacific adolescents & implications for the Smokefree2025 action plan

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakalofa atu, warm Pacific greetings!

Join us online for the launch of an ASPIRE/ASH report on adolescent smoking in NZ’s biggest Pacific communities (Samoan, Cook Island Māori, Tongan & Niuean), and discussion from Pacific leaders about their hopes and priorities for the Smokefree2025 Action Plan.  

THURSDAY 30 September, 12:30 – 1:30pm (NZST)

  • Report co-author Associate Professor El Shadan Tautolo (AUT) will present its key findings. The report documents important differences between Pacific ethnicities and highlights the potential of Pacific community action for achieving Pacific smokefree aspirations.
  • A/Prof Tautolo will be joined for a panel discussion by Associate Professor Collin Tukuitonga, Stephanie Erick and Lealailepule Edward Cowley, NZ’s foremost Pacific smokefree experts. The panel will discuss the implications of the findings, and their hopes and priorities for NZ’s Smokefree2025 Action Plan which is currently being developed.


NZ’s Pacific peoples bear a heavy burden of tobacco harm, and uptake of smoking among Pacific adolescents remains higher than among non-Māori/non-Pacific adolescents. The Government has signalled an intention to eliminate ethnic smoking disparities and put a renewed focus on smoking prevention in its consultation document about the Smokefree2025 Action Plan.

To inform smoking prevention initiatives, ASPIRE researchers undertook research to better understand the risk factors for smoking in NZ’s biggest Pacific communities using data from the ASH Year 10 Snapshot survey. Most health studies group Pacific people’s together, but (because of the large sample size of the ASH survey) we were able to analyse results for Samoan, Cook Island Māori, Tongan and Niuean adolescents separately. These findings, together with the latest trend data from the ASH survey, are presented in an accessible report jointly published by ASPIRE2025 and ASH, which will be available on the ASPIRE2025 website from 26th August. Key findings from the report will be presented in this webinar.

The findings have important implications for the Government’s Smokefree2025 Action Plan, which is currently under development. Our expert panel will discuss these implications, and their hopes and priorities for the Smokefree2025 Action Plan.


Associate Professor El Shadan Tautolo (AUT)is a leading NZ researcher and a member of the ASPIRE2025 collaboration. He is the Director of the Pacific Island Families Study and the Director of AUT’s Centre for Pacific Health and Development and has published extensively on tobacco control topics.

Associate Professor Collin Tukuitonga is the inaugural Associate Dean Pacific and an Associate Professor of public Health at the University of Auckland. He has recently been elected President of the NZ College of Public Health Medicine. His previous roles include Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Chief Executive of the NZ Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, and Director of Public Health at NZ’s Ministry of Health. He is a longstanding Pacific Health advocate and Smokefree champion.

Stephanie Erick has recently joined the Ministry of Health tobacco control team since her role as General Manager Tobacco Control at Hāpai te Hauora. Before joining Hāpai in 2016, Stephanie was Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). She has a clear vision for smokefree communities and has worked tirelessly to achieve it.

Lealailepule Edward Cowley is the Pacific Coordinator at Hāpai te Hauora, and the Director of Tala Pasifika, an initiative to unite Pacific peoples in action to improve health outcomes. He has contributed significantly to Pacific smokefree advocacy and leadership over many years, and is an innovative and energetic community leader.


To register for this event and to confirm that you do not have any of the affiliations outlined below, please complete your registration here.

Once your registration has been approved, you will be emailed the access details and a link to the webinar.


We welcome registration from people in the public health, community health and smokefree sectors, and others interested in public health policy and Pacific wellbeing.

Please note:  ASPIRE seminars, webinars and other events are not open to individuals working with or for any tobacco company, or who are affiliated to the tobacco industry in any way. Nor are they open to any individuals or groups who have interests in or relationships with tobacco companies, including, but not limited to, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) and FSFW grantees. 


The report will be available on the ASPIRE2025 website following the webinar.

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