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Professor Janet Hoek thumbnailBA(Hons - first class), MA(Distinction), Dip.Bis.Admin(Distinction), PhD Co-Director ASPIRE2025

Teaches PUBH744 Healthy Public Policy

Contact Details  

Tel +64 4 832 3192

Research Interests and Activities  

Janet's first degrees were in English Literature. She also studied Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, and French – she is currently trying to regain her fluency in French. Her Honours research examined nineteenth century poetry and she explored irony in Beowulf, a very early medieval poem, in her Masterate thesis. She later completed a post-graduate diploma in marketing and her PhD examined question wording effects in surveys. Janet is co-Director of ASPIRE Aotearoa, a University of Otago Research Centre whose members undertake research into smokefree policy and the regulation of nicotine products.

Janet has led several Health Research Council projects and is currently PI of the Whakahā o te Pā Harakeke programme, funded by the Health Research Council. Her work examining plain (or standardised) packaging and tobacco branding informed policy in New Zealand and internationally. She followed up this work by examining novel on-pack tobacco warnings and the impact of complementing on-pack warnings with efficacy messages.

Janet has also undertaken several studies into vaping. She led a feasibility study assessing 'smart' e-cigarettes and explored whether and how people transition from smoking to vaping. She has also explored vaping uptake among people who smoke and young people who do not smoke, and she has tested strategies to encourage full transition from smoking to e-cigarettes among people who smoke deterring uptake among people who do not smoke. She received the 2022 Universities New Zealand Critic and Conscience of Society Award for her work documenting the harms vaping imposes on young people.

She has also received funding from the Royal Society Marsden Fund. She led a project that critically evaluated tobacco industry arguments framing smoking as an “informed choice”. Subsequent work probed identity shifts among people moving from smoking to vaping, and becoming nicotine free. She has also worked on a Marsden study examining tobacco companies’ self-proclaimed “transformation”.

Janet has been a member of several NGO and government advisory groups, provided evidence to government and Select Committees, and was a member of an Australian government expert advisory group overseeing the introduction and refreshment of plain packaging. She has sat on several research grant and selection committees, as well as strategy development and policy groups.


Ball, J., Nip, J., Edwards, R., & Hoek, J. (2024). Oral tobacco and nicotine products: Quitting aid or teen addiction risk? The Briefing, (3 April). Retrieved from

Hoek, J., Edwards, R., & Waa, A. (2024). Smokefree laws: Reducing tobacco outlets will decrease crime. The Briefing, (26 February). Retrieved from

Hoek, J., Edwards, R., Waa, A., & Ozarka, E. (2024). High regret among people who smoke reinforces strong support for smokefree legislation. The Briefing, (20 February). Retrieved from

Bullen, C., Hoek, J., Gregan, M.-J., Phyo, P. P., Waa, A., & Edwards, R. (2024). False zombie arguments about illicit tobacco shouldn't be given any more oxygen. The Briefing, (12 February). Retrieved from

Hoek, J., Edwards, R., & Waa, A. (2024). Tobacco industry interference: Is the new Government meeting its international obligations? The Briefing, (1 February). Retrieved from

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