The 40th Annual Australian Health Economics Society Conference was held in Hobart on the 25th and 26th of September, 2018. The presentations reflected the wide range of interests of health economists. This first issue of Health Economics Connect profiles a selection of policy-relevant papers that were presented at the conference, all featuring research findings that relate to policy priorities.

AHES was pleased to host Don Kenkel, Professor in the College of Human Ecology, Cornell University as a speaker. Professor Kenkel discussed his work on the economics of tobacco regulation particularly the use of cigarette taxes to prevent youth smoking, and advertising to promote smoking cessation. The conference also included a special session on the Future of Health Economics in Australia, chaired by Michael Pervan, Secretary, Department of Health, Tasmania.