The other thing about paying for health insurance with cigarette taxes is, of course, than in the case of a tobacco tax you’re actually trying to move over time to the right hand side of the laffer curve, where your tobacco tax and other public health measures reduce smoking to a level where tax revenues decline. Health care expenditures, meanwhile, are more-or-less destined to go up over time. If you’re going to earmark cigarette tax revenues for anything, it should be to fund some kind of anti-smoking efforts (Nicorette subsidies? hire people to enforce the rules against selling tobacco to under-18s?) or else just don’t earmark the money.
Health care needs a sustainable revenue stream.