Anyone who really thinks raising the cigarette tax seventy cents more is going to stop teenagers from smoking has never been in a long popcorn line at a movie theater, or a fast food restaurant, or a mall.
And the other justification -- that it will provide needed revenue for the state -- is also just smoke and mirrors. The reality is people crossing over from other states to buy low-tax cigarettes bring other economic activity that will be sorely missed if the low taxes disappear.
It would be much cheaper and easier to decrease benefits for welfare beneficiaries who smoke. Raising the cigarette tax just cuts into the help that our money provides them anyway.