Support sought for clinics

| June 27, 2017

More than 60 percent of ‘in-patients’ at a South Korean smoking cessation clinic successfully ‘quit’, double the figure for ‘out-patients’, according to a story in The Korea Herald citing the latest findings by the Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (KSRNT).

The story reported that 216 of the 292 ‘patients’ [74 percent] who joined an anti-smoking program at Dankook University Hospital successfully quit smoking for four weeks.

Meanwhile, 69.2 percent of those taking part remained smoke free for three months, and 66.7 percent quit for six months.

At the same time, fewer than 30 percent of outpatients successfully quit smoking after attending the smoking cessation program.

The KSRNT has called on the government to provide financial assistance to hospitals to help them establish such clinics.

“It is very hard for even in-patients to stop smoking as nicotine is highly addictive,” Chung Yoo-seok of the research society said, while stressing the need for the government to funnel part of its increased tobacco tax revenue to anti-smoking clinics.

The tobacco tax revenue rose to 12.3 trillion won ($10.7 billion) in 2016 from 6.9 trillion won in 2014 and 10.5 trillion won in 2015, according to figures produced by the Korea Taxpayers’ Association.

The government increased taxes on cigarettes by 2,000 won ($1.70) per pack from January 1, 2015, taking the price of a pack from about 2,500 won toto 4,500 won.

It cited as a reason for the tax increase the need to discourage smoking.

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Tax

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