So Malcolm Turnbull in his Federal Budget 2009 reply thinks that an increased tax on cigarettes would be equivalent to means testing Australian workers on the private health insurance rebate. Hmm.
Looking at the 2007-08 National Health Survey 4364 (pulled from the Australian Bureau of Statistics), I get: "Smoking rates for the 2007-08 NHS are lower than those reported in the 2004-05 NHS. These differences are statistically significant." This has been on a downturn since 2001.
So smoking rates are going down. Why base your revenue stream on a declining revenue base? It means you want people to continue or take up smoking... thereby increasing their chances of cancer, heart disease, lung disease etc; then heading into hospital to keep all our doctors, nurses and pharmaceutical companies employed. Oh I get it, you're stimulating the economy!