First there's Otago's Professor of Marketing Janet Hoek. She's an expert on smoking as she was lead author on a study that drew strong policy conclusions from a sample of 13 Facebook users.
Next, there's Otago Public Health Senior Research Fellow George Thomson. Thomson coauthored a report on the social costs of smoking with health economist Des O'Dea, so that's only one degree of separation. Thomson mixes some reasonable commentary on the effects of price rises on consumption with scientific discussion of the ethics of "imposing extra costs on addicted individuals."
At least they link to the Treasury RIS.
It's pretty reasonable to conclude that, as far as the Science Media Centre is concerned, economics doesn't make the cut. At least given this reply when I asked why they didn't think of asking economists about a tax question.
@EricCrampton that would be because we are the "Science" media centre. The economic tobacco discussion gets plenty of play elsewhere.NZ Drug read their response the same way I did:
— Science Media Centre (@smcnz) May 24, 2012
@smcnz @EricCrampton Burn!Economics isn't a science says Science Media Centre. Don't tell me it's an "art".The Science Media Centre is an arm of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Odd that the Royal Society admitted economist Les Oxley as Fellow if economics isn't a science. And even odder that the Science Media Centre went to a Prof of Marketing when I (quite properly) can't find a single reference to a marketing academic in the Royal Society of New Zealand's roster.
— NZ Drug Foundation (@nzdrug) May 24, 2012
Last time I wondered about the Science Media Centre's going to healthists rather than economists to ask questions about the GST, they claimed they couldn't find an economist ready to comment. Now they say instead that economics isn't a science. Lovely.