A Brief History Of: Sin Taxes

Antismoking advocates tout this month's record increase in the federal cigarette-tax rate, which on April 1 spiked from 39¢ to $1.01 per pack, as a move that will bolster the federal budget while saving an estimated 900,000 lives. Supporters say the measure will stop 2 million kids from lighting up and spur about 1 million adults to quit, but the sharp hike has some smokers fuming. Cigarette taxes, detractors argue, are a way for governments to line their coffers by legislating personal choice--and a prime example of a regressive "sin tax," the term often used for fees tacked on to popular...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!