One in three smokers in South Korea said they would quit if the health ministry caused cigarette prices to be raised as planned, according to a story in the Korea Times quoting the results of a survey released on Friday.
The country’s Health and Welfare Minister, Moon Hyung-pyo, said last week that he hoped to see cigarette prices nearly doubled during the next six years so as to reduce the country’s smoking rate. Moon said prices should be raised from WON2,500 per pack to at least WON3,300 per pack immediately, partly to reflect the general rise in consumer prices, and to WON4,500 by 2020.
Of 1,000 survey participants, 64.5 percent said they would support the price hike, while 35.5 percent said they would not.
Of the smokers surveyed, 70.7 percent said they would object to cigarettes being made more expensive, while 29.3 percent said they would support such a move.
Thirty two point two percent of smokers said they would quit if the price reached WON4,500 won, while 51.6 percent said such a price would not change their habit.