by Byrne Hobart
Nobody feels more strongly about high taxes than smokers do, and with good reason: it’s incredibly easy for politicians to raise taxes on smoking, and the average non-smoker doesn’t have a lot of sympathy. So it’s no surprise that the news is full of stories about planned cigarette tax hikes.
But why is it so easy to raise taxes on smokers? Why not bottled-water drinkers, car owners, or life insurance buyers? The reason is simple: cigarettes have the combination of addictive power and brand loyalty. Very few smokers give up if the cost of their smokes goes up 10% — in fact, basically no other product has the long-term resistance to price changes.
It’s also popular among people who don’t … Read more...