March 14, 2017 12:26
Cigarette sales have dropped sharply since packs featuring graphic health warnings first came out in December.
Some 240 million cigarette packs were sold in February, down 14 percent from 280 million a year earlier, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on Monday. Sales fell from about 310 million packs in November last year to 280 million in January.
The warnings feature graphic images of damaged internal organs with warnings detailing the harmful effects of smoking.
The number of people signing up for quit-smoking programs at health centers nationwide jumped from 26,000 in December to 51,000 in January.
"Graphic warnings help reduce smoking rates and also prevent youngsters from trying cigarettes," said an official at the Ministry of Health and Welfare. "We expect cigarette sales will continue to decline."
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