May 18, 2009 08:34
Koreans spend about W14 trillion per year on alcohol and tobacco (US$1=W1,263). According to Bank of Korea statistics released Sunday, consumers spent W14.07 trillion on alcoholic beverages and tobacco last year, up 4.7 percent from W13.45 trillion the year before.
Spending on alcohol and tobacco accounted for 43.5 percent of the country's medical and healthcare spending of W32.38 trillion last year.
Medical and healthcare spending normally includes hospital services fees and the cost of drugs.
Spending on alcohol and tobacco increased 31.2 percent since 2003, when the figure was W10.73 trillion. Sales of alcoholic beverages in stores rose more sharply than their sales in restaurants or bars. Cigarettes worth W8.17 trillion were sold last year, up 3.9 percent from the year before.
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