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Public health news from the University of Otago

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New Bill marks the beginning of the end for cigarettes and tobacco in Aotearoa

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Wednesday 27 July 2022

Researchers from the University of Otago’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, which carries out research to support the Smokefree 2025 goal, welcome the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill that Associate Health Minister Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall introduced to Parliament today.

Acute alcohol use linked to one quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths - study

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Friday 15 July 2022

The authors of a ground-breaking University of Otago, Christchurch study are calling for immediate changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, due to figures showing more than 26 per cent of all suicide deaths in this country involve acute alcohol use.

Janet Hoek wins Critic and Conscience award

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Tuesday 3 May 2022

Regulatory loopholes are contributing to increases in the number of young New Zealanders exposed to nicotine through vaping, warns the winner of the 2022 Critic and Conscience of Society Award.

Study calls for urgent regulation of unhealthy home deliveries

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Wednesday 6 April 2022

Ordering an online Uber Eats, other food, alcohol or vaping delivery from the comfort of your couch is hugely popular – but a new study is calling for urgent Government action, due to concerns unregulated, on-demand home deliveries may be damaging the nation’s health.

The price of keeping kids warm at night

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Wednesday 30 March 2022

The cost of heating a child’s bedroom through the night in a Wellington winter would run through 46 per cent of the government’s Winter Energy Payment, which is paid to qualifying beneficiaries and all superannuitants to help with heating costs, a study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has found.

Nitrate levels in drinking water and bowel cancer

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Friday 4 March 2022

The formation of cancer-causing chemicals in the gut could be at the heart of understanding how high levels of nitrate in our drinking water contribute to increasing the risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, New Zealand researchers say.

Urgent investment needed in deadly disease

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Tuesday 1 February 2022

Researchers are calling for urgent investment in the prevention of a devastating emerging disease that kills tens of thousands of people each year

Reimagining school uniforms

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Thursday 27 January 2022

School uniforms need a radical redesign to better meet the needs of students, particularly for girls, who are often forced to wear uniforms that prevent them from being physically active in their lunch breaks and from cycling to and from school, a public health researcher says.

Addressing inequities in cancer care

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Friday 21 January 2022

Three Otago researchers have secured significant grants for research aimed at addressing the stark inequities in cancer care and survival for Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Call to report bottled water quality results on labels

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Thursday 13 January 2022

Bottled water is often perceived as clean and free of contaminants compared to tap water, but University of Otago researchers believe water quality results need to be printed on the label.

Discrimination placing LGBTIQ+ people at risk of homelessness

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Tuesday 21 December 2021

Discrimination in the housing market, as well as structural issues such as poverty, racism and instability, are placing Takatāpui and LGBTIQ+ people at higher risk of homelessness, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

A marathon year for Wellington PhD Public Health grad

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Friday 10 December 2021

While most people might feel like they deserved a break after completing their PhD, Caroline Fyfe, who graduates in absentia in December with a PhD in Public Health from the University of Otago, Wellington, instead set off to do a 44 kilometre run with a friend up and over the capital city’s steep hills.

Housing researchers win the Rutherford Medal, NZ’s top research honour

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Thursday 18 November 2021

Distinguished Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman CNZM QSO FRSNZ and researchers at the He Kāinga Oranga – Housing and Health Research Programme at the University of Otago, Wellington, have been awarded the 2021 Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Excellence in teaching, research and service

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Thursday 4 November 2021

Excellence in teaching, research and service have been celebrated with the announcement of the 2021 Otago Medical School – Dunedin Campus (Dunedin School of Medicine) Teaching and Research awards.

Urgent need to tackle smoking rates in Pacific adults and youth

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Thursday 30 September 2021

New Zealand needs to take urgent action to reduce smoking in Pacific adults and youth if the country is to achieve its goal of reducing the number of smokers to less than five per cent of the population by 2025 according to a new report.

A road map to ending diesel vehicle pollution

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Friday 17 September 2021

Researchers have developed a road map to accelerate the removal of light diesel vehicles, including cars, utes and vans, from New Zealand roads in a quest to clear the air.

Dual treatment increases risk of heart attack – study

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Friday 13 August 2021

People using two different inhalers for common chronic lung diseases are more than 50 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than those on just one, new University of Otago-led research reveals.