Smoking in the United States is already declining significantly — largely as a result of public awareness of its dangers, not higher taxes. The declining number of smokers makes cigarette tax revenue unstable. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation projects that if the new tax rate is implemented next year, tobacco revenues will fall nearly 10 percent over the next decade. As Dr. Michael Siegel, professor at the Boston University School of Health has noted, this is a risky way to fund the program. "This is a situation where you’re advocating a specific amount of money to a program based on cigarette revenue," he says. "So if that cigarette revenue falls, by definition, the revenue available to the program is going to fall."
This is the kind of duh moment that makes you think either they’re really dumb, or that they know better – happy to justify it now with a vice tax but prepared to cry "the children need the resources" when the revenues dry up. I’m guessing the latter. Smart on legerdemain, dumb on policy.