Tobacco consumption falls again – Plain packaging and excise hikes work

Wed, 02 Dec 2015  |  


New data for the volume of tobacco consumed in Australia shows another fall, to a fresh record low. It continued the extraordinary trend over many years, with a highlight being the free-fall in consumption since plain packaging was introduced in December 2012 and as the rate of tobacco excise has been increased.

The volume (yes volume Judith) of tobacco consumed fell 1.3 per cent in the September quarter 2015 after falling, respectively, 2.7%, 4.4%, 3.5% and 3.3% in the prior four quarters. It's a Great Depression, at least for tobacco companies and retailers.

Since the introduction of the plain packaging laws, tobacco consumption – and this includes cigarette, rollies, cigars and pipe tobacco – has fallen a staggering 18.2 per cent. To be sure, the excise hikes would have had an impact on consumption, as would the death of over 40,000 smokers over that time who obviously no longer buy tobacco products, but plain packaging has play a vital role deterring younger people from taing up the habit.

Who would want to be a tobacco producer or retailer with this sort of trend? I must say I do not feel at all sorry for the doctors losing business on the back of fewer smokers presenting to them simply because there are fewer smokers.

Australia stands out as the text book example of how to reduce smoking rates – a mix of advertising bans, high excise rates and plain packaging have driven an extraordinary decline in smoking.

So a special thanks to former Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, for being bold enough to deliver plain packaging.

And I’ve nothing but on-going contempt for soon to be ex-editor of The Australian Chris Mitchell and his foul campaign to suggest plain packaging was not working. He and his merry band of clowns – Judith Sloan, Christian Kerr, Henry Ergas, Chris Merritt, Jack the Insider, Sinclair Davidson, Adam Creighton and the editorial writer should be suitably humiliated with these recent facts on the volume of tobacco consumed in the aftermath of the plain packaging laws. 


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Wed, 29 Jul 2020



Covid19 has opened a door for Australians to positively accept significant changes that will lead to a shared good. This rare opportunity enables us to achieve sustainable economic and social goals that create a new ‘normal’ as our way of life.

These Ten Steps are presented as non-partisan recommendations to the Australian Parliament in the firm belief that, if they embrace them, the Australian economy and society will be greatly enhanced after the Covid19 pandemic has passed.

*A job for you if you want one.
A significant increase in part time and casual employment can be created that will enable you to enjoy a more creative and peaceful lifestyle and to live longer and better. The traditional age at which you would have been expected to retire will become obsolete as a result. An access age for pension and superannuation will become your choice. This will enable you to remain in paid work for as long as you want to, on a basis that you choose, while boosting the productivity and growth of Australia.

*You will get wage increases that will be greater than your cost of living.
A demand for enhanced innovative skills at all levels of employment will be created as the economy grows in strength, thereby enhancing your stature in the workforce and enabling executive salaries and bonuses to drop to levels that are accepted as justifiable by employees, shareholders and customers.

The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

Tue, 07 Jan 2020

This article first appeared on the Yahoo Finance web site at this link:   


The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

For many people, the cost of the fires is immeasurable. 

Or irrelevant. 

They have lost loved ones, precious possessions, businesses and dreams and for these people, what lies ahead is bleak.

Life has changed forever.

As the fires continue to ravage through huge tracts of land, destroying yet more houses, more property, incinerating livestock herds, hundreds of millions of wildlife, birds and burning millions of hectares of forests, it is important to think about the plans for what lies ahead.

The rebuilding task will be huge.

Several thousands of houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure will require billions of dollars and thousands of workers to rebuild. Then there are the furniture and fittings for these buildings – carpets, fridges, washing machines, clothes, lounges, dining tables, TVs and the like will be purchased to restock.

Then there are the thousands of cars and other machinery and equipment that will need to be replaced.