While Julia Gillard was Prime Minister plain packaging of cigarettes became law. We have been pursued mercilessly through international courts of law by Big Tobacco, infuriated by our successful attempt at reducing their obscene profits on what are actually poisons and killers. And won every time.

When most free trade agreements are enacted there is a clause that enables multi-national companies to sue any government whose policies reduce their profits. The proceedings are held in closed courts and are not subject to appeal.

Our recent free trade agreement appears to be a fait accomplis but the details are shrouded in mystery.

If that clause is included the tobacco companies will get back all that they calculate they have lost in revenue because of our laws.

A chilling thought.

And another chilling thought is that the tobacco companies knew their products were killers long before the unsuspecting addicted millions of smokers.

It relaxed you, it gave you something to do with your hands, it made you feel sophisticated or in the case of men, macho and irresistible. What could go wrong>

Although the men issued with free tobacco during World War 2 must have had some suspicions: they named them “gaspers” and “coffin nails”, but smoked them nevertheless.

At a table of 50 friends at Diethnes Greek Restaurant in 1977, all but one were smokers. Of the same 50 now, only two remain smokers.

As I have frequently mentioned, giving up cigarette smoking is a very challenging task. You will have a much greater chance of success if you use my script, alter it to suit yourself, and record it in your own voice.

Listening to my voice, or someone else’s, can work but with much less probability of success.