I've opined on sin taxes before but allow me to recap. Sin taxes have always been used as a ham handed social engineering tool but their main purpose is obviously to part people from their money. There is an inherent flaw in earmarking sin taxes to specific government programs because there is always the possibility that the tax will decrease the activity being taxed. Take the once great state of California, for example. Recently CA passed a draconian cigarette tax in order to fund government programs for children. The irony here is that the tax actually worked and people have quit smoking. CA has seen a 10% decrease in cigarette tax revenue which is endangering government programs. Hacker Curve: Quitting Smoking Is Bad for The Children - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine This is a classic example of a reverse Laffer Curve. If you tax something out of existence, you will no longer receive tax revenue from it. Seems pretty simple. So my advice to Californians. Light up, it's for the kids.