2025 is going to be a big year for University of Otago Business School Marketing Professor Janet Hoek.
As co-director of ASPIRE2025, one of the University’s Research Themes, Professor Hoek is involved in the national push for a tobacco-free New Zealand by 2025.
ASPIRE2025 has bought together leading tobacco control researchers whose work underpins the smokefree 2025 goal, which would see smoking prevalence fall to five percent or less.
Realising this world-leading goal would significantly reduce illnesses caused by smoking and bring unprecedented public health benefits; the ASPIRE team’s work is playing a key role in creating a smokefree legacy.
ASPIRE2025 has a strong focus on developing and testing potential policy measures, but members have also developed innovative new cessation technologies.
“Our researchers come from all disciplines and we tackle thorny conceptual questions, such as unpacking tobacco companies’ claims that smoking is an ‘informed choice’, right through to developing new treatments that help people to quit smoking.”
But while Professor Hoek argues that the 2025 goal is absolutely achievable, she is calling on the government to provide a clear and daring action plan. “Our research has provided the evidence base for crucial new policy measures, but we’re still waiting for government action.
“To achieve the tobacco end game, we need to imagine things otherwise and lift our sights from what’s been done previously.”
About the research
Professor Hoek is particularly interested in young adults as a population group. Her work examines measures that will make tobacco difficult to access and purchase, and unpleasant and unattractive to use.
Recently, she has explored how plain packaging could be enhanced. Together with Australian colleagues, she tested cigarette sticks featuring health warnings, graphics, or unattractive colours, and found these could further reduce the appeal smoking has to young people.
With Dr Shelagh Ferguson, a colleague from the Department of Marketing, she has also been exploring young adults’ increasing use of roll-your-own tobacco and e-cigarettes.
“I’m extremely privileged to work with a fantastic team of researchers on some truly innovative projects. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing ideas we developed and tested getting incorporated into policy here and internationally.”
ASPIRE2025 2015 Annual Report
Download a copy of the 2015 ASPIRE2025 Annual Report.