E-cigarette taxation: Lessons from “sin taxes”

The Economist takes on “sin taxes” in a recent article, “‘Sin’ taxes—eg, on tobacco—are less efficient than they look.” The article has several lessons for policy makers eyeing taxes on e-cigarettes and other vapor products. Historically, taxes had the key purpose of raising revenues. The “best” taxes would be on goods with few substitutes (i.e., inelastic demand) and on goods deemed to be luxuries.