Moon Hyung-pyo, who has been nominated for the position of minister of health and welfare in South Korea, said yesterday that cigarette prices should be increased in order to deter people from smoking, according to a story in The Korea Times.
Before a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, Moon said the government needed actively to intervene in setting cigarette prices so as to lower smoking rates.
Cigarettes were the biggest public health threat, he said, before going on to mention alcoholic beverages as well.
Preventing smoking would be the most effective way to promote public health and ease the financial burdens of health insurance holders, he added.
Moon quoted the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs as saying that the “proper” price for cigarettes was WON6,199 a pack. Currently, most prices are within the range of WON2,000 to WON3,000 a pack.
But he went further than championing high prices. “As well as raising the price, other policies such as printing repulsive warning images on packages, should be introduced,” he said.
“I believe a price hike and other warning campaigns are the most effective ways to encourage people to quit smoking.”
Category: Breaking News