EASE is Aotearoa's International Tobacco Control (ITC) project, a health study which aims to support Aotearoa New Zealand's Smokefree 2025 goal. It generates evidence to inform policy and actions to help people become and stay smokefree. It is funded by the Health Research Council and runs from 2020–2025.
The study surveys around 1,600 adult New Zealanders who smoke or who have recently quit and follows them over time. Our aim is to understand how tobacco-related policies and initiatives affect people who smoke and influence their behaviour. We also want to get participants' views about possible future policies to help achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa goal.
Māori, Pacific peoples, and young adults are over‑represented among people who smoke, so the EASE study has a particular focus on these groups, asking their views and finding out what works for them. We want to make sure there are no groups left behind on Aotearoa's journey to become a smokefree nation.
The project team includes Māori and Pacific researchers who are leading the ethnic-specific aspects of the research.
The EASE study is part of the ITC (International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation) project. It is a continuation of previous ITC New Zealand projects:
- The 2016–2020 New Zealand ITC project
- The Māori-specific TAKe project (2016–2020)
- The 2006–2010 New Zealand ITC project
It is also part of the Whakahā o Te Pā Harakeke Programme which is led by the ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, based at the University of Otago:
About the ITC (International Tobacco Control) Policy Evaluation project
The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) is an international study of tobacco use that follows smokers and recent quitters over time. Its overall objective is to measure the impact of tobacco control policies (e.g. plain packs, smokefree legislation, ad campaigns) and identify the determinants of effective tobacco control policies.
The ITC Project is a collaborative effort with international health organisations and policymakers in 31 countries so far, inhabited by >50% of the world's population, >60% of the world's smokers, and >70% of the world's tobacco users. New Zealand has been part of this international team since 2006.
Is the study associated with tobacco or vaping companies?
No. The study is not associated with any commercial interests and receives no funding from the tobacco or vaping industries or associated organisations.
New Zealand EASE team
- Richard EdwardsCo-Principal Investigator
- Andrew WaaCo-Principal Investigator, Māori lead researcher
- Dan TautoloPacific lead researcher
- Jude BallYoung adult lead researcher
- James StanleyStatistician
- Ellie JohnsonAnalyst
- Jacqui Hadingham Administrator
Market research company Research New Zealand is working closely with the EASE team to manage data collection for the project.
We also partner with the ITC international team based at the University of Waterloo, Canada. This is the ITC's 'head office' which provides support and guidance to the 31 countries that are part of this international project The key contacts for the New Zealand EASE project are detailed below.
ITC international team
- Thomas AgarNew Zealand ITC Survey Manager
- Anne QuahITC Managing Director
- Geoffrey FongChief Principal Investigator of the ITC project
This study has been approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (ref 20/020). If you have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the research, you may contact the Committee through the Human Ethics Committee Administrator:
Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated and you will be informed of the outcome.
The Wave 3 survey for the EASE study was conducted from November 2020 to February 2021. A total of 1277 people participated in the survey.
The Wave 4 survey for the EASE study was conducted from October to December 2022. A total of 1579 people took part in the survey.
Findings from the survey have been used to inform the Government's Smokefree 2025 Action Plan and related legislation and regulations. Future survey waves will help to evaluate the impact of New Zealand's world-leading new policy initiatives, and as such EASE findings are of great local and international importance.
Selected research outputs:
- Awareness, support, and perceived impacts of New Zealand’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Legislation among adults who smoke or formerly smoked: Findings from the Oct-Dec 2022 EASE/ITC New Zealand Survey (ITC report, Dec 2023)
- Smoking related knowledge, quit attempts and intentions, regret, and perceived addiction among people who smoke in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Findings from the ITC NZ (EASE) 2020-21 survey (SRNT Conference, San Antonio, March 2023)
- Capsule and menthol cigarette use in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Findings from the ITC NZ (EASE) 2020-21 survey (SRNT Conference, San Antonio, March 2023)
- Heated tobacco product use among people who smoke and recent quitters in Aotearoa/New Zealand: findings from the ITC NZ (EASE) 2020-21 survey (SRNT Conference, San Antonio, March 2023)
- Electronic cigarette use among people who smoke and recent quitters in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Findings from the ITC NZ (EASE) 2020-21 survey (SRNT Conference, San Antonio, March 2023)
- The Smokefree 2025 Action Plan: key findings from the ITC New Zealand (EASE) project (Public Health Expert Blog, July, 2021)
- Reasons for stopping e-cigarette use among smokers: findings from the 2018 ITC New Zealand Survey (New Zealand Medical Journal, October, 2020)
- Smokers increasingly use e-cigarettes to quit, new findings from ITC NZ survey (IJERPH, September 2020)
- ASPIRE2025 Research presented at SRNT Conference (New Orleans, March 2020)
- Beliefs among adult smokers and quitters and nicotine and de-nicotinized cigarettes in the 2016-17 ITC New Zealand Survey (Tobacco Regulatory Science, Sept 2019)
Please contact the project team via the project administrator, Jacqui Hadingham: