3 research outputs found

    New Zealand Youth19 survey: vaping has wider appeal than smoking in secondary school students, and most use nicotine-containing e-cigarettes

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    Objective: To investigate smoking and vaping in secondary school students (aged 13–18 years) in New Zealand (NZ) following the introduction of ‘pod’ e-cigarettes, which have been associated with the rapid escalation of youth vaping elsewhere. Methods: Data on smoking and vaping were collected in 2019 as part of a comprehensive youth health survey (N=7,721). Results: Vaping was 2–3 times more prevalent than smoking, with 10% of students vaping regularly (monthly or more often), and 6% weekly or more often, compared with 4% and 2%, respectively, for tobacco smoking. Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes were sometimes or always used by 80% of regular and 90% of weekly vapers. Regular and weekly smoking was rare in low deprivation (affluent) areas, whereas regular and weekly vaping prevalence was similar across the socioeconomic spectrum. More than 80% of ever-vapers (N=2732) reported they were non-smokers when they first vaped, and 49% of regular vapers (N=718) had never smoked. Conclusions: A significant proportion of New Zealand adolescents, many of whom have never smoked, use nicotine-containing e-cigarettes regularly. Implications for public health: Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it is not harmless. Public health action is needed to support young non-smokers to remain smokefree and vape-free

    Indigenous adolescent health in Aotearoa New Zealand: Trends, policy and advancing equity for rangatahi Maori, 2001–2019

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    Background: Rangatahi Māori, the Indigenous adolescents of Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), have poorer health outcomes than Pākehā (NZ European /other European/“White”) adolescents. We explored the influence of policies for Indigenous youth by presenting health trends, inequities and contrasting policy case examples: tobacco control and healthcare access. Methods: Cross-sectional representative surveys of NZ secondary school students were undertaken in 2001, 2007, 2012 and 2019. Health indicators are presented for Māori and Pākehā adolescents (relative risks with 95% CI, calculated using modified Poisson regression) between 2001–2019 and 2012–2019. Policy examples were examined utilising Critical Te Tiriti Analysis (CTA). Findings: Rangatahi Māori reported significant health gains between 2001 and 2019, but an increase in depressive symptoms (13.8% in 2012 to 27.9% in 2019, RR 2.01 [1.65–2.46]). Compared to Pākehā youth there was a pattern of persistent Māori disadvantage, particularly for racism (RR 2.27 [2.08–2.47]), depressive symptoms (RR 1.42 [1.27–1.59]) and forgone healthcare (RR 1.63 [1.45–1.84]). Tobacco use inequities narrowed (RR 2.53 [2.12–3.02] in 2007 to RR 1.55 [1.25–1.93] in 2019). CTA reveals rangatahi Māori-specific policies, Māori leadership, and political support aligned with improved outcomes and narrowing inequities. Interpretation: Age-appropriate Indigenous strategies are required to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities for rangatahi Māori. Characteristics of effective strategies include: (1) evidence-based, sustained, and comprehensive approaches including both universal levers and Indigenous youth-specific policies; (2) Indigenous and rangatahi leadership; (3) the political will to address Indigenous youth rights, preferences, priorities; and (4) a commitment to an anti-racist praxis and healthcare Indigenisation. Funding: Two Health Research Council of New Zealand Project Grants: (a) Fleming T, Peiris–John R, Crengle S, Parry D. (2018). Integrating survey and intervention research for youth health gains. (HRC ref: 18/473); and (b) Clark TC, Le Grice J, Groot S, Shepherd M, Lewycka S. (2017) Harnessing the spark of life: Maximising whānau contributors to rangatahi wellbeing (HRC ref: 17/315)
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