S. Korea to push for sharply raising tobacco prices

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : September 11, 2014, 16:23 | Updated : September 15, 2014, 10:25


The government will push to raise tobacco prices by 2,000 won per pack to 4,500 won starting Jan. 1, 2015 to help cut the country’s smoking rate, the health minister said Thursday.

The government also plans to introduce a system to link cigarette price hikes to inflation rates, Minister of Health and Welfare Moon Hyung-pyo said during a meeting of economy-related Cabinet ministers.

The health ministry’s “Health Plan 2020” calls for cutting the country’s smoking rate among men from the current 44 percent to 29 percent by 2020. The comparable figure stands at an average of 25 percent for 34 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

As to anti-smoking measures, the minister said that tobacco companies will be required to put pictures warning harmful effects of smoking on cigarette packs to cajole and frighten smokers into quitting.

In addition, tobacco advertisements at retail shops nationwide, including convenient stores, will be banned, he said.
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