SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – On the first day of 2015, when the tobacco price hike was implemented across the nation, overall sales for domestic brand cigarettes were remarkably slow, while tobacco from major international brands such as Dunhill or Camel proved very popular, as some foreign tobacco brands are not yet subject to the price increases.
As Seoul raised tobacco prices by 80 percent, effective January 1 this year, most brands were subject to a 2,000-won-a-pack increase, a significant burden for regular smokers in Korea where a pack of cigarettes is approximately equivalent in price to that of a simple lunch in many restaurants.
As Korea Bizwire reported on December 26 that some of the brands sold by foreign tobacco companies that had not submitted a price change report with the government will maintain the previous price level for some time now. Under the current tobacco business law, tobacco companies are supposed to charge newly raised prices at least six days after their price increase report has been approved by the government.
The Ministry of Strategy & Finance said on December 25 that the nation’s tobacco monopoly KT&G and Philip Morris International Korea submitted reports that they would raise cigarette prices by 2,000 won per pack on the previous day.
By John Choi (email@example.com)