Australia's plain packaging policy for tobacco products is being watched carefully by the anti-smoking lobby this side of the Tasman.

The new rules came into force yesterday, forcing all the tobacco companies to use the same olive-green packs, plastered with health warnings.

ASH said if the Australians can ignore threats from big tobacco, New Zealand shouldn't be far behind.

Director Ben Youdan said the Government should be confident plain packaging is the right way to go.


"It's about governments being brave, and not seeing it anything more than just threats.

"And actually pushing ahead with what's going to be the right thing to do in terms of protecting the health of New Zealanders."

Mr Youdan said Australia's success on this front should give our government the confidence it needs to act.