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 29 countries so far, inhabited by >50% of the world's population and >60% of the world’s smokers. 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 Edwards Co-Principal Investigator
- Andrew Waa Co-Principal Investigator, Māori lead researcher
- Dan Tautolo Pacific lead researcher
- Jude Ball Young adult lead researcher
- James Stanley Statistician
- Ellie Johnson Analyst
- Kerry Hurley 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 29 countries that are part of this international project The key contacts for the New Zealand EASE project are detailed below.
ITC international team
- Nadia Martin New Zealand ITC Survey Manager
- Anne Quah ITC Managing Director
- Geoffrey Fong Chief 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, including 518 Māori and 208 Pacific participants.
Preliminary findings from the survey are being used to inform the Government’s Smokefree 2025 Action Plan, released in April 2021. The ASPIRE research team have written a series of posts for the Public Health Expert blog about the innovative policies proposed and the evidence behind them, including evidence from the EASE study, e.g. findings about the extent to which people who smoke support or oppose the policies.
When further findings become available later in 2021, we will post summaries and links to publications on this page.
EASE is a continuation of previous New Zealand International Tobacco Control studies.
You can see findings from previous studies here:
Please contact the project team via the project administrator, Kerry Hurley: