Price Hike Hits Cigarette Sales

      April 21, 2015 09:53

      A hike in tobacco prices in January appears to have led to a drop in cigarette consumption. A recent survey shows that the number of cigarettes distributed in Korea declined, while the number of people who decided to kick the habit increased.

      The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Monday some 519 million packs of cigarettes were distributed in the first quarter of the year, down 44.2 percent on-year from 930 million packs in 2014. The first-quarter average for the past five years is about 1 billion packs.

      As of the end of March, some 280,000 people had signed up for anti-smoking programs at public health centers nationwide, 2.7 times the 103,000 who did so during the same period last year.

      Information on hospitals and clinics offering antismoking programs is available on the National Health Insurance Corporation's website or via its call center at 1577-1000.

      "People who enter specialized programs are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking than those who try to quit on their own, so it's better to make use of one of the various antismoking programs," a ministry official said.

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