The Rudd government yesterday breathed new life into the smoking debate with the double-barrelled announcement that tobacco tax was jumping up by 25% effective at midnight and that tobacco would be sold in plain packaging from January 2012.

Tobacco taxes are a proven cornerstone of tobacco control policy and have a long track record of preventing young people from starting and inciting current smokers to quit. Plain packaging, however, is without international precedence and positions Australia as a global leader in public health reform.