Re: Looking for an excuse to regulate (tax) them
Yes, because smoking = income. That it creates a delayed burden on health costs isn't their problem:
To be brutally logical:
I'd argue that the health costs are probably more than offset by the fact that many smokers die relatively quickly and relatively young. The care costs for those dying promptly (like my grandfather) needs to be offset against the possibility of thirty years of slow decline and weekly GP and frequent hospital visits by the non-smokers (like my grandmother). And a smoker stands less chance of collecting their (often unfunded) pension and top up benefits, so there's more economic upside.
From the cash point of view, anything that both raises money and causes more people to die fairly quickly in middle age is great for the economy. So we had Logan's Run in a packet of twenty B&H.
Maybe we should be adding a slow cumulative poison to vapeing liquids?