Throughout American history, politicians have incessantly awarded preferential policies (e.g., “corporate welfare”) to special interests that has allowed them to create monopolies dominating virtually every major market.
The Secretary of Defense acts as an indispensable liaison between parties, business, and the state. The job is guarded by a special class of loyalists, usually extremely bright individuals chosen by the state's elites.
The data does not show that government taxes and regulation have been responsible for declines in smoking. At the same time, government approved cigarettes may be more dangerous than black market cigarettes.
It turns out that workforce participation drops off significantly once it becomes possible to live off a government pension instead. Thus, pension policies have placed an enormous burden on those who still have to work.