The national accounts contained the glorious news that the volume of tobacco consumed by Australians fell again in the June quarter as the mix of plain packaging laws, tax hikes, advertising bans and health awareness all kick in.

Tobacco consumption fell a thumping 2.2% in volume terms in the June quarter, bringing the total decline since the plain packaging laws were introduced to 19.5%. With population growth of around 4% over that time, per capita smoking is in free-fall. The success of the array of policies to reduce smoking is as stunning as it is fantastic. Well done to all those involved.

The facts surrounding the volume of tobacco consumed should be humiliating for the clowns at The Australian who used any array of excuses a couple of years ago to suggest that the volume of tobacco consumed went up after the plain packaging rules were introduced. More on that another day. Suffice to say chief clown Judith Sloan and her worthy assistants Christian Kerr, Henry Ergas, Christian Kerr and Adam Creighton, are not the sort of people to rely on for economic analysis.