South Korea may link cigarette price hikes to the growth of consumer inflation in an effort to reduce smoking and secure more revenue, reports The Korea Herald.
Tobacco prices have been frozen at KRW2,500 ($2.28) per pack for more than eight years. The health ministry earlier said average cigarette prices need to be raised to KRW7,000 per pack to reduce the country’s smoking rate to what it called a desirable level.
However, an official at the finance ministry argued for a more moderate approach, saying increases by more than KRW2,000 could have unintended side effects.
Korea’s overall smoking rate dropped from 28.8 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2011, according to health ministry numbers.
Category: Breaking News