John Robert Cornwall (1 January 1935 – 1 August 2018) was a Labor member of the South Australian Legislative Council for 14 years, from 1975 to 1988.
He was a senior member of the front bench for most of his political career.
He was a graduate in veterinary science, so during his years as the Minister for Health he was almost always referred to as Dr.
Cornwall, and almost never credited with a first name.
His main claim to fame came in 1987-88 when he persuaded the reluctant Labor Premier of South Australia, John Bannon, to introduce a specially ear-marked tax on cigarettes (initially 50c/pk - later toned down to 5c/pk) which would be used to fund a buy-out sponsorships of both sporting organisations and prizes, and cultural/arts organisations by the tobacco industry who used the branding of events as an alternate form of advertisin.
Until that date (Apr 13 1988) the tobacco companies had used sports and arts sponsorships to create powerful allies who were always guaranteed to feature in opposition to any government actions which threatened to limit cigarette sales.
They also had the commercial media on side.
Geoff Bible the Australian CEO/Chairman of Philip Morris in New York described the earmarking as a "stoke of genius" because the industry couldn't find a way to counter it.
Cigarette sponsorship was allowed for a couple of international events (Formula One Grand Prix, and Benson & Hedges Test Cricket), but from that point on, sportsmen and their organisations never seriously supported the industry again.