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Regulating the retail supply of tobacco: moving research toward practice

Te whakature i te whakaputunga tūpeka tauhokohoko: te whakatata i te rangahau ki te mahi

Wednesday 13 February 2019

For those working toward Smokefree Aotearoa 2025, regulating the retail supply of tobacco is essential to help denormalise the product for the next generation, assist those trying to quit, and promote smokefree communities.

To frame the case, advocates need options for reducing supply that have a robust evidence base. Securing regulatory change will also need support from within the retailing sector.

The day will canvass

  • The latest research from both New Zealand and overseas
  • Potential policy options for reducing retail outlets
  • First hand experiences of retailers who have elected to stop selling tobacco
  • Discussion on the advantages /disadvantages of not selling tobacco from a retailing perspective
  • Modelling the impact of reducing retail outlets in urban and rural settings
  • How the sale of ENDS such as E-cigarettes fits into supply reduction

This course has been created by Cancer Society NZ (Canterbury West Coast) in collaboration with ASPIRE 2025

Topics covered

  1. The retail landscape in NZ – what do we know?
  2. Achieving Smokefree Aotearoa Project 2025 - reducing supply in context of the 2025 goal
  3. Recent research in NZ /overseas – policy options, retailer views, public acceptability
  4. Tobacco free retailing in New Zealand and Australia – retailer experiences
  5. Regulating supply – engaging the retail sector
  6. Using research to model policy - examining what policy options could look like if applied to specific urban and rural areas in New Zealand
  7. Panel discussion – can we agree a preferred option?

Style of course

Symposium - Multi-speaker presentations and panel discussion in lecture theatre setting

Who should attend?

This course would be particularly relevant for anyone involved in supporting the case for national supply reduction - namely

  • Policy advocates helping frame the case for change as part of a smokefree action plan
  • Community health promoters helping build smokefree communities / enforcing current smokefree retail regulation
  • Cessation practitioners supporting those trying to quit
  • Researchers contributing to the emerging field of supply reduction

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration  
9:00am Welcome, Introduction and warm up Shayne Nahu
  Where tobacco is sold in NZ, estimated numbers, patterns, uptake of tobacco free retailing to date

Key steps in ASAP 2025 plan; supply in context of other strategies; international “end game” comparisons

Survey of recent literature – evaluation of tobacco licencing schemes; public support for supply reduction, studies with retail sector

Policy options open to NZ
Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Lindsay Robertson
10:30am Morning tea  
11:00am Case study: Tobacco free retailing in Northland
Gaining an insight into why retailers in Northland have chosen to stop selling tobacco, impact on business and how outlets have diversified
 Bridget Rowse with retailer[s]   via Zoom
 11:30am Stop the Stock – The Kelston Community Intervention

Perspectives on the 2018 Hapai campaign – outlets who elected to stop selling tobacco on World Smokefree Day and subsequent investigations
Mihi Blair / Lizzie Strickett
12:00pm Case study: Tasmania

With an established licencing scheme covering 800 outlets, Tasmania offers a helpful case study to NZ looking to understand supply options – especially from a regional context

Session will cover both Tasmania's Tobacco Free Retailer Project, examining and how retailer licencing works in the state
Abby Smith [ Cancer Council of Tasmania]

Veronica Martin-Gall [Senior Advisor Department of Health and Human Services] via Zoom
1:00pm Lunch  
2:00pm Modelling retail reduction

What could retail outlet reduction outlets look like across the country with regulation?

Workshop examines different models for reducing outlets over time -  grandfathering, proximity, specialist stores
Louise Marsh, Emmanuel Badu
3.00pm Selling ENDS – who should sell?

With regulation proposed, what is known about ENDS in dairies/convenience stores? growth of specialist vaping outlets, will ENDS be seen as alternative business model for tobacco free retailers?
 Janet Hoek
3:30pm Afternoon tea
4:00 pm Speakers Panel
  • What do panel members think is the best regulatory framework for supply sales of smoked tobacco and alternative nicotine delivery products?
  • How do they think arguments about supply reduction/regulation for smoked tobacco and alternative nicotine delivery products should be framed?
5:00 pm Programme close  


  • Abby Smith - Cancer Council of Tasmania
  • Veronica Martin-Gall - Senior Advisor Department of Health and Human Services - via Zoom
  • Retailers - via Zoom
  • Shayne Nahu - Cancer Society New Zealand
  • Janet Hoek - University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Richard Edwards - University of Otago, Wellington
  • Louise Marsh - University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Lindsay Robertson - University of Bath
  • Emmanuel Badu - AUT
  • Mihi Blair / Lizzie Strickett - Hapai Te Hauora

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 20 December 2018.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.