SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales of cigarettes in South Korea edged up 1.1 percent in 2022 from a year earlier, the finance ministry said Tuesday, despite the government’s anti-smoking campaign.
South Korean smokers purchased 3.63 billion 20-cigarette packs in 2022, slightly up from 3.59 billion packs tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The amount, however, marked a 16.8-percent drop from 2014, a year before the government raised the price of cigarettes by 80 percent in January 2015 from 2,500 won (US$2) per pack to 4,500 won in a move to reduce smoking.
Demand for conventional cigarettes dropped 1.8 percent on-year in 2022, while those of heat-not-burn tobacco products soared 21.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the government collected 11.8 trillion won in taxes from cigarette sales in 2022, up 1.1 percent from the previous year.
As of 2021, the smoking rate by Korean men aged 19 or older had reached 19.3 percent, according to health authorities.