If we are going to add to the expense of cigarettes, I can suggest better things to do with the extra dollar per pack than put it in the government coffers.
1. Have the manufacturers (or sellers) put a Ziploc type bag with each pack. Then in open spaces, such as parks and beaches, make sure people who are trying to smoke are carrying the little Ziploc bags. This is what we already do with dog walkers. The problem with smokers in open air spaces is usually not second-hand smoke, which is rarely at serious levels in open spaces, but litter. Relatively few people smoke nowadays and yet butts are still about half of all litter.
2. Assemble a fund to find some way of recycling filters and turn them into something. Fund a 1 cent per filter award for filters turned in for recycling. If Altria and other cancer magnates are willing to find a use for old filters, I”d offer them the money to do it. If not, find someone else. But for all the decrease in the use of their product the cigarette companies never do badly financially, and surely they can afford to do something constructive like this.
3. If we want to soak the rich, why not tax cigars? That will hit the Republicans where they live. Of course, the Republicans, when they get into power, will revenge themselves on the Academic Elite by taxing pipe tobacco!
Related: “Cigarette maker spends big to fight per-pack tax” by Christina Jewett at CaliforniaWatch.com