Poor Smokers

A conservative Canadian think tank has produced a study asserting that higher income, not legislation, is responsible for reducing the number of smokers in North America. The report observes that people with money are more likely to quit so they’ll be healthy enough to enjoy spending their wealth. A cancer society spokesman, however, rejected the conclusion: “There is very significant evidence, including admissions by tobacco companies, that higher taxes and other regulations have reduced overall smoking.”

Of course anti-smokers are going to refute such claims: they won’t be happy until smokes are taxed out of existence. But hasn’t smoking always been sort-of considered a “poor persons” habit? If so, then are higher taxes on smokes really just keeping the poor poor?