See you guys are presuming something.
You guys think that I want to tax those things as a deterrent. I want them taxed for the completely opposite reason.
I want them taxed precisely because demand for those things is inelastic. The government might as well make money off of it seeing as how no matter how much they tax it, people will still indulge in those things. It's a great way to increase government revenue will possibly lowering taxes in other, elastic goods and services (jobs, food, energy, etc).
Well, if that's your definition of vice, I suppose. But I don't agree with that, either.
I'm not trying to define vice specifically. I'm just grouping those things together since they're commonly collectively referred to as vices. There's no real use for them in society (and no real harm for the most part). They're purely indulgent, so why not tax them?
There are other things you could throw into that mix (luxury items, video games, etc), but demand for those things can be very elastic, so imposing taxes could be harmful to the overall economy. Imposing taxes on purely indulgent goods/services where demand is almost perfectly inelastic makes sense. Keeping those things criminalized and thus untaxable doesn't.