South Korea declares war on tobacco
South Korea, which has one of the highest numbers of smokers per capita among member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, has declared war on tobacco.
The government laid out its battle plan on September 11, including at 80 per cent increase in prices of tobacco products, a ban on manufacturers and retailers from advertising tobacco products and the introduction of picture warnings on tobacco packs. Under the plan, the average price per pack would go up to Won 4,500 ($4.35) by the start of next year. The current price is Won 2,500, unchanged for about 10 years.
Seoul hopes to lower the nation’s adult male smoking rate to 29 per cent by 2020, from 43.7 per cent today. The average adult male rate in the OECD nations is 25.8 per cent, according to the OECD Factbook 2014.