Well, in the less than four years that the plain packaging laws have been in place, the volume of tobacco consumed in Australia has fallen a staggering 25 per cent. It is a great depression in tobacco consumption, driven in part by the plain packaging laws.
Also important, no doubt, are the impact of the excise hike, the death of more than 50,000 people since the end of 2012 from smoking related illness (they aren’t buying many smokes there days) and the lagged effects of advertising bans, health warnings and community understanding of the risks from tobacco consumption.
It is amazing, staggering and unbelievable that in the early 1960s, 20 per cent of household consumption (in volume terms) was on tobacco.
Now it is down to 1.3 per cent and declining rapidly.
It just goes to show that a well targeted, well framed mix of targeted public policy can achieve desirable aims.
Anyone for a sugar tax and banning of junk food advertising to deal with the obesity epidemic?