SEJONG, March 13 (Korea Bizwire) – Sales of cigarettes in South Korea fell for three straight months in February following the government push to imprint health warning graphics on the outside of packages, government data showed Monday.
Some 240 million 20-packs of cigarettes were sold last month, down 14 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
The monthly sales have been on the decline since November last year, when 290 million packs were sold.
The ministry attributed the sales drop to the government-led anti-smoking campaign.
Starting in December 2016, graphic images of damage caused to internal organs by smoking were placed on the upper part of cigarette packets.
South Korea increased the price of cigarettes by 80 percent to 4,500 won (US$3.92) per pack in 2015 in an effort to curb smoking, but total sales rose 9.3 percent in 2016 from a year earlier.