SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — A study conducted by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Professor Kim Hee Jin of the Yonsei Graduate School of Public Health revealed that 65.5 percent of smokers between the ages of 13 and 39 use flavored cigarettes.
The data was collected through an online survey and had a sample size of 9,063 self-disclosed smokers.
Flavored cigarettes were found to be a more potent “gateway” product than unflavored cigarettes. First-time smokers through the former were 1.4 times more likely to end up being long-term smokers than first-time smokers through the latter.
The data also showed that 69.2 percent of first-time smokers who had started with flavored cigarettes continued to smoke the same. In contrast, for first-time smokers who had started with unflavored cigarettes, only 41 percent still smoked the same.
Over 70 percent responded that the scent of cigarettes had influenced their decision to start smoking.
Some of the common reasons stated for choosing flavored cigarettes were interest in the scent, flavored cigarettes eliminated physical discomforts (cough, sore throat) and the elimination of the odor of unflavored cigarettes.
Only 49.9 percent of flavored cigarette smokers responded to the statement “Flavored cigarettes are bad for one’s health” with the answer “Completely agree”, while 54.2 percent and 73.4 percent of unflavored cigarette smokers and non-smokers responded with the same answer.
When prompted with the statement “Flavored cigarette smokers have more friends than non-flavored cigarette smokers”, 12.8 percent of teenagers between the ages of thirteen and eighteen agreed, far higher than non-smokers (2.7 percent) and non-flavored cigarette smokers (5.5 percent) did.
The study also found that women and teenagers were more likely to smoke flavored cigarettes. Males between the ages of thirteen and nineteen (68.3 percent) and females between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four (82.7 percent) were the respective age demographics that most heavily smoked flavored cigarettes. Overall, a greater proportion of women (73.1 percent) than men (58.3 percent) favored flavored cigarettes.
Speaking on the results of the study, an official from the Ministry of Health and Welfare stated that “the Ministry will draft regulatory boundaries and restrictions pertaining to flavored substances to pass into law next year”.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)