Smoking Goes Down Among Teenagers as Price Hikes Bite

      November 27, 2015 09:55

      The number of smoking teenagers has dropped by about 60,000 since cigarette prices rose by W2,000 in January (US$1=W1,150).

      The proportion of teens who have smoked more than a day over the past 30 days now stands at 7.8 percent, down 1.4 percentage points from last year, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday. The figure is the lowest since surveys started in 2005.

      The centers polled 68,043 students nationwide in June and July. The results suggest that overall about 65,000 students have quit smoking.

      The smoking rate fell faster among boys -- from 14 percent to 11.9 percent -- than among girls -- from four percent to 3.2 percent.

      But there was no big change in alcohol consumption among teens who drank more than a cup of liquor over the past 30 days compared to three years. The proportion stands at 20.0 percent for boys and 13.1 percent among girls.

      "It seems that the cigarette price hike or smoking prevention programs helped decrease the teen smoking rate," said Oh Kyung-won of the KCDC.

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