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The same is true in the UK. It is a conflict of interest when a government's tax revenue is in someway dependent on people partaking in a habit that the government are supposed to be trying to discourage.
A cigarette tax tends to be a very regressive tax
Smokers pay for their healthcare very effectively, I'm given to understand. At least, that's what a public health doctor / epidemiologist said he'd found when looking at the UK figures. Smokers pay for their habit in taxes, they tend to live less long so claim less pension and other state benefits, and those that do incur higher health costs owing to the development of a chronic smoking-related condition (like bronchitis and emphysema) are compensated by the premature death group, who die suddenly of heart attacks and strokes, costing the country less money.So, all told, the government actually love smokers.
If governments trully want to put an end to the evil weed, there is a simple solution.Vis:As of next year, make it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under 18yrsThe following year, make it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under 19yrsThe following year, 20yrsThe next, 21yrsThen 22yrsThen 23yrsAnd so on and so forth until we are all dead and burried.The fines for illegal sales and smuggling need to hurt, not just a slap on the wrists.
..... Banning smoking in pubs and restaurants (at least in the UK) is now accepted as a generally good idea .....