Smoking rates fall among South Korea’s teenagers

| November 18, 2015

South Korea’s teenage smoking rate has fallen to its lowest level since this type of data was first collected in 2005, according to a story in The Korea Times citing figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDCP).

The government said on Monday that the fall was partly due to a rise in tobacco prices earlier this year.

During the first fortnight of this year, the price of many cigarettes jumped from WON2,500 ($2.30) to WON4,500 ($4.15) a pack.

The huge increase was particularly disruptive because it was brought in against a backdrop in which there had been no price increases for about 10 years. According to the KCDCP, 7.8 percent of about 68,000 middle and high school students surveyed nationwide said they had smoked on at least one day during the past 30 days, down 1.4 percentage points from last year’s figure.

The highest rate recorded was 13.3 percent in 2007.

The smoking rate of male students was 11.9 percent, down from 14.0 percent last year, while the rate for female students dropped from 4.0 percent to 3.2 percent.

About 15 percent of the students surveyed said they had quit smoking because of the cost.

A KCDC official was quoted as saying that his organization suspected that the fall in the smoking rate was down to the increase in cigarette prices and to “intensified education against smoking”.

Category: Breaking News

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