“Sin” Taxes — eg, on Tobacco — Are Less Efficient Than They Look

But they do help improve public health

Photo: jokerpro/Getty Images

Tobacco was new to England in the 17th century, but even then, smoking had plenty of critics. The most famous was King James I, who in 1604 described smoking as “a custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmful to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke and stinking…