“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times” – Mark Twain.

Eighteen months after the Australian Labor Party introduced its plain packaging laws in an attempt to stop Australians from smoking, new data published in The Australian newspaper on Friday (June 6, 2014) shows that 59 million more “sticks”, individual or roll-your-own cigarettes were sold last year.

Up 0.3%, this means that for the first time in four years, cigarette sales are on the rise.

Dubbed the “nanny state plan,” Labor’s hopes to kill off cigarette smoking and to introduce the “world’s toughest anti-smoking laws” appear to have been dashed.

The main increase as reported by industry monitor InfoView appears to be in cheaper cigarettes, with market share boosted from 32% to 37% last year.

These reports are backed by federal government forecasts showing tobacco excise tipped to continue rising, estimated at $10.98 billion in 2017-18, compared to $7.85 billion in 2013-14.

Latest government population health survey results show that in NSW the percentage of adults who smoke increased from 14.7% in 2011 to 16.4% last year.

With the plain packaging laws replacing brand recognition, consumers are less concerned about where their tobacco is coming from and are only really concerned about the cost of their cigarettes.