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Tobacco Issues on agenda at University symposium

9 March 2006

Controversial tobacco Issues on agenda at University symposium

Robust debate about tobacco control policies is expected at "Towards a smokeless society" - a symposium taking place at The University of Auckland later this month.

Hosted by the School of Population Health, the symposium marks the establishment of the Auckland Tobacco Control Research Centre - which will be formally launched by Hon Pita Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party.

The Centre's Director Dr Marewa Glover says the event brings together local and international experts on issues such as nicotine addiction, harm reduction strategies, and limiting cigarette sales.

"It is well-timed because there is a growing debate about the next steps New Zealand might take if it is to significantly reduce smoking rates.

"Pending prosecutions for chewing tobacco, pressure to end the sale of 'combustibles' or all tobacco products, and support in some quarters for the introduction of alternative smokeless nicotine products such as SNUS (a Swedish tobacco product) are among the topics that will be vigorously debated."

International speakers include:

* Paul MacDonald, the University of Waterloo, Canada will discuss maximising cessation rates;
* Ron Borland the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, Melbourne will discuss tobacco control policies;
* Anne Jones, from ASH Australia who will give an Australian view of harm reduction strategies.

A full programme can be viewed at

Symposium details are:

Date: Friday 24 March 2006
Time: 8.30 am - 5 pm
Venue: Population Health Complex
Tamaki Campus
The University of Auckland


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