NZMJ: Legalising smokeless tobacco and/or oral nicotine products: some implications for population health
Updates / News, 13 Apr 24
The New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) releases its latest journal for their April 12th 2024 edition. This edition’s editorial piece is written by Jude Ball, Janine Nip and Janet Hoek, under the title, Legalising smokeless tobacco and/or oral nicotine products: some implications for population health, which has generated a growing interest from various media with this as a response to New Zealand (NZ) previously having had the smokefree legislation in place.

To summarise,  

“The Government appears poised to allow the sale of oral tobacco and nicotine products in Aotearoa New Zealand. Evidence that these products can help people quit smoking is lacking, as is evidence of the safety of long-term use.  

In contrast, the safety and efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has been rigorously tested; NRT products are widely available in this country to help people quit smoking, as are vaping products.  

Flavoured nicotine products are highly addictive, appeal to youth, and are being marketed by tobacco companies as lifestyle products using online marketing. ZYN (a Philip Morris product) is being sold online in New Zealand, in apparent breach of the current law (see  

Given Aotearoa New Zealand’s experience with youth vaping (i.e. We have the highest youth vaping rates in the world), a precautionary approach and rapid action is needed to avoid another regulatory failure.” 

There are five other articles available for reading, with one viewpoint article and two case reports titled
“The simple gallbladder with a twist?” and “Recreational ketamine use can lead to irreversible bladder damage.” Both case reports have also received external interest.  

Additionally, there are also two research letters available for viewing. 

“Alcohol-associated liver disease and the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand—a single centre retrospective analysis” by Kevin YY Chen, Michael TM Wang and Cameron Schauer, is one such research letter that takes a close look at the severity and outcomes of alcohol-associated liver disease hospitalisations, through comparisons made before and during the COVID-19 lockdown period in the Waitematā district of New Zealand. 

Since January 15th 2024, The New Zealand Medical Journal has been available for open access under its owners, The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA).  

To access the journal and register to the NZMJ visit their newly launched website