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RYO Tobacco: Analysing Usage Patterns and Policy Responses (ASPIRE2025 Research)

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Thursday, 1 November 2018
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Public Health (Wellington)
Professor Richard Edwards, Professor Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa


New Zealand has a very high proportion of roll your own (RYO) tobacco users relative to other Western countries. Growth in RYO use appears to have occurred in response to tobacco's increased cost as RYO users manage their supply by rolling thinner or shorter cigarettes. RYO users often believe this tobacco to be less harmful than tailor made cigarettes and develop ritualistic practices that offset negative connotations that RYO is a "budget" option. This project could build on existing qualitative work by using ITC data to examine RYO usage patterns among a sample of smokers, reasons for RYO use (e.g. taste, cost, rolling practices, reduced harm perceptions), whether usage reasons vary across demographic and behavioural variables, and whether impacts of tobacco control policies like tobacco tax increases vary by type of tobacco smoked. . The study could also examine interventions to reduce RYO use, such using an experimental study to examine RYO-specific warnings (that challenge erroneous attribute beliefs) or a naturalistic approach to assess product appearance measures, such as dissuasively coloured rolling papers and filters.

More information at

(Potential to study in Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin)


Richard Edwards
Tel   +64 4 918 5089