SEOUL, July 10 (Korea Bizwire) – A survey revealed that 59 percent of Koreans were in agreement over the government’s plan to raise the cigarette prices.
Gallup Korea recently held a survey on 1,000 adults older than 19 years of age, asking “What do you think about the plan to increase the price for a pack of cigarettes to 4,500 won from the current 2,500 won?” To this, 59 percent said affirmatively while 35 percent were in opposition. Only 7 percent answered “I don’t know.”
The percentage of people who approved the plan has increase slightly from 52 percent in an earlier poll in March this year. The approval ratio differed by whether the respondent was a smoker. As many as 65 percent of non-smokers said they agreed to the plan while only 34 percent of smokers said so.
Smoking in South Korea
Smoking in South Korea is similar to other developed countries in the OECD, with a daily smoking rate of 22.90% in 2012 compared to the OECD average of 21.13%. However, male smoking is among the highest at 40.80% while female smoking among the lowest at 5.20%. (Wikipedia)
As to the series of public service messages put out by the Ministry of Health and Welfare since last month featuring former smokers suffering from serious chronic diseases, 67 percent showed positive response. Even smokers were in agreement (67%) with the often-repulsive images. A Gallup Korea official explained that this is partly because some smokers don’t care how gross the image is.
Non-Smoking Policy in South Korea
South Korea enforced strict smoking bans in public places from July 2013, with fines of 100,000 won on any spotted smoker and up to 5 million won on shop owners not following the law. From December 2012, smoking has been completely banned in bars and restaurants larger than 150 square meters (extended to 100 square meters from 2014), cafes, internet cafes, government buildings, kindergartens, schools, universities, hospitals, youth facilities, libraries, children’s playgrounds, private academies, subway or train stations and their platforms and underground pathways, large buildings, theaters, department stores or shopping malls, large hotels and highway rest areas. More places now offer smoking areas separated by glass walls. The law has extended to bars and restaurants larger than 100 square meters since January 2014. South Korea will completely ban smoking on all bars, restaurants and cafes regardless of size from January 2015. Cafes which are currently permitted to have smoking rooms must remove any smoking rooms by this date. (Wikipedia)
Written by Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)