South Korea To Hike Cigarette Price by 80 percent

South Korea To Hike Cigarette Price by 80 percent
Highlights

SEOUL, South Korea: Smoking and its impacts on public health have become a heated topic of debate in S.Korea. In a an attempt to cut down the tobacco consumption rate, the south Korean parliament has decided on an 80 percent rise in cigarette prices. On Tuesday, the 2015 budget adopted by the national assembly put forth a proposal, to hike the average price of a cigarette packet from 2,500 won to 4,500 won. This proposal was accepted by the parliament and would most likely come into force from January 1st.

SEOUL, South Korea: Smoking and its impacts on public health have become a heated topic of debate in S.Korea. In a an attempt to cut down the tobacco consumption rate, the south Korean parliament has decided on an 80 percent rise in cigarette prices.

On Tuesday, the 2015 budget adopted by the national assembly put forth a proposal, to hike the average price of a cigarette packet from 2,500 won to 4,500 won. This proposal was accepted by the parliament and would most likely come into force from January 1st.
South korea has one of the world's highest male smoking rates. It is ranked highest among member countries like Turkey, Greece, Estonia and Japan in the organization for economic cooperation and development for around 44 percent of adult South Korean men are smokers.
The government has taken a series of anti-smoking measures, to bring down the tobacco consumption rate. The health ministry hopes that the price hike and all the other serving measures would cut the rate from 44 percent to 35 percent by the end of 2016.
South Korea has also implemented a ban on lighting up in public places. The ministry also wants tobacco packaging to include pictures of the harm caused by smoking, and a ban on tobacco ads in retail stores.
The Supreme Court, in April rejected a damages suit filed by 30 lung cancer patients against KT and G, which controls more than 60 percent of a tobacco market estimated to be worth more than $9.0 billion a year.
State health insurers immediately filed a separate lawsuit against three domestic and foreign tobacco makers, seeking damages of 53.7 billion won for payouts over smoking-related illnesses.
The insurers claim to have spent about 1.7 trillion won each year in payouts for the treatment of conditions caused by smoking.
The government and the health ministry as a whole, anticipate that the new rules and bans will diminish the tobacco consumption rate and will provide for a smoke free healthy environment.
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