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Research Associate Professor George Thomson

Research Interests and Activities

George’s research interests are in tobacco control, health policy and health politics. His work includes researching government and business behaviour as determinants of population health, with recent research covering:

  • The effects and ethics of tobacco taxation.
  • Smoking and smokefree areas outdoors and in vehicles.
  • Tobacco endgames.

His research has been funded by the Health Research Council, the Cancer Society, the Heart Foundation, and ASH NZ, and he has been a co-investigator on two Marsden Foundation funded projects.

Much of his recent research has focused on areas relevant to smokefree outdoor area policies and smokefree vehicle. This includes the observation of smoking behaviour, establishing outdoor and vehicle smoking prevalence, and the surrounding climates of opinion. Current research includes mapping the visibility of outdoor smoking, and reviewing online comments about smokefree outdoor policies.

George is the policy and regulatory research theme leader.

George Thomson’s CV

Contact Details
Email George Thomson
Phone +64 4 385 5999 ext 6054
Fax +64 4 389 5319
Post Department of Public Health
School of Medicine
University of Otago
New Zealand

Recent publications

  • Crosbie, E., Thomson, G., Freeman, B., & Bialous, S. (2018). Advancing progressive health policy to reduce NCDs amidst international commercial opposition: Tobacco standardised packaging in Australia. Global Public Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2018.1443485
  • Thomson, G., & Wilson, N. (2018). Playground drinking fountains in 17 local government areas: Survey methods and results. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1469), 69-74. Retrieved from
  • Thomson, G., & Wilson, N. (2017). Global tobacco industry. In S. R. Quah & W. Cockerham (Eds.), International encyclopedia of public health (Vol. 3). (2nd ed.) (pp. 292-300). Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-803678-5.00463-X
  • Wilson, N., Morales, A., Guy, N., & Thomson, G. (2017). Marked decline of sudden mass fatality events in New Zealand 1900 to 2015: The basis epidemiology. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12652
  • Thomson, G., & Wilson, N. (2017). Smokefree signage at New Zealand racecourses and sports facilities with outdoor stands. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1464), 80-86. Retrieved from
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