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Hand in hand – tobacco, alcohol and policy measures

Te mahinga tahitanga - Ngā whakaritenga o te tupeka, te waipiro me ngā kaupapahere

Wednesday 17 February 2021

How is it that smoking among 18–24 year olds is four times greater than among 15–17 year olds? Exploring paired behaviours may give us new insights into this question. Smoking uptake often occurs alongside alcohol use; however, policy measures and research studies often view smoking and drinking as separate practices.

This interactive course will explore associations between alcohol use and smoking uptake, and consider how policy responses could decouple this long-standing pairing. Beginning with an overview of population data, we will explore patterns of co-use among NZ smokers, particularly Māori, Pacific, and young people. We will examine factors that encourage co-use, explore measures that could decouple tobacco and alcohol, and review policies that could discourage both drinking and smoking, particularly among young people. The day will conclude with reflections from an expert advocate, a panel discussion, and audience musings.

Topics covered

  • Epidemiology of tobacco and alcohol use among different population groups;
  • Health risks posed by alcohol and tobacco co-use
  • What do NZ data tell us?
  • Implications for Māori and Pacific peoples?
  • Implications for youth
  • Marketing's contribution to tobacco-alcohol co-use
  • Policy responses – what potential implications could comprehensive smokefree bar policies have?
  • Policy responses – what potential implications could increasing the drinking age have on smoking uptake?
  • Reflections from an alcohol researcher and advocate
  • Panel discussion/ workshop

Style of course

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

Who should attend?  

This course is aimed at people working in tobacco and alcohol advocacy, policy and research, people interested in population health, and people who engage with priority groups, including Māori, Pacific, and young people. It will also be of value to people interested in action!

It offers a great opportunity to develop links with other researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates who work across tobacco and alcohol control.

Please note: this course is not open to individuals working with or for any tobacco company, or who are affiliated to the tobacco industry in any way. Nor is it open to any individuals or groups who have interests in or relationships with tobacco companies, including, but not limited to, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) and FSFW grantees.

Please note the additional detail provided below.

“Tobacco industry” refers to: a) any tobacco or tobacco product manufacturer, processor, wholesale distributor, importer, (and specialist tobacco retailers), b) any parent, affiliate, branch, or subsidiary of a tobacco or tobacco product manufacturer, wholesale distributor, importer, specialist tobacco retailer, or c) any individual or entity, such as, but not limited to an interest group, think tank, advocacy organization, lawyer, law firm, scientist, lobbyist, public relations and/or advertising agency, business, or foundation, that represents or works to promote the interests of the tobacco industry, or that receives or has received, either directly or indirectly, funding from a tobacco company or companies.

  • By the end of this course participants will:
  • Understand how alcohol and tobacco co-use occurs among different population groups
  • Appreciate evidence supporting policies that could decouple tobacco and alcohol, or address both

COVID-19 contingency plan

If COVID Alert Level restrictions prevent in-person/face-to-face delivery of this course, it will be delivered online the same day, and a credit of $100 given ($50 for those paying staff/student rate).

If the course is able to be delivered in person, but a participant cannot travel to Wellington due to COVID Alert Level restrictions, the course fee will be refunded in full.

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome, housekeeping Anaru Waa and Janet Hoek
9:10am Epidemiology of tobacco and alcohol use among different population groups Amanda Jones
9:40am Questions and discussions
9:50am Health risks of co-use Richard Edwards
10:20am Questions and discussions
10:30am Morning tea
11:00am Marketing environment TBC
11:30am Disconnecting alcohol and tobacco – bar settings Janet Hoek
11:40am Questions and discussions
12:00pm Modelling the impact of increasing the drinking age on smoking uptake TBC
12:30pm Lunch break
1:30pm Implications for youth Jude Ball
1:50pm Implications for Māori Anaru Waa
2:10pm Implications for Pacific peoples TBC
2:30pm Questions and discussion
3:00pm Afternoon tea
3:30pm Reflections from alcohol researcher and advocate TBC
3:50pm Panel discussion – priorities and approaches TBC
4:20pm Questions and discussion
4:45pm Wrap up and course evaluation
5:00pm Finish


Course Convenor

Professor Janet Hoek, University of Otago
Janet Hoek has a long-standing interest in smoking among young adults, including how alcohol and tobacco co-use evolves. She is a co-Director of ASPIRE 2025 and is especially interested in translating research into effective policy.


  • Andrew Waa, Department of Public Health, University of Otago
  • Richard Edwards, Department of Public Health, University of Otago
  • Jude Ball, Department of Public Health, University of Otago
  • Amanda Jones, Department of Public Health, University of Otago

Others to be confirmed

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after Tuesday 22 December 2020.

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

Register now

Note COVID-19 contingency plan above. Any questions please see FAQ page or email