Tobacco Tax Hikes Boosts Smoking in S.Korea

January 25, 2017 Uncategorized

Cigarette taxesSEOUL – While tax hikes on cigarettes are aimed at reducing the consumption of tobacco, it appears that the latest hike in Korea has led people to smoke more.

New information released over the weekend has shown that the number of cigarettes sold in South Korea rose shortly after the government instituted a hike in the rate of tax on the sale of cigarettes.

In 2015 the government of Korea raised the tax on the sale of cigarettes from KRW 2 500 per pack to KRW 4 500 per pack.

The year prior to the implementation of the tax hike, the number of cigarettes sold in the country was approximately 85.3 billion, a 17 percent rise compared to the previous year.

In the year of the price hike the number of cigarettes sold fell to 66.7 billion.

However, in 2016 the amount sold had risen to 72.9 billion.

Experts have proposed several reasons for the seeming increase in the sale of cigarettes, with some claiming that consumers have simply grown used to the prices and are willing to pay more for the habit, while others suggest that many consumers stockpiled cigarettes prior to the hike.

Some experts have even gone so far as to claim that the ongoing political scandals in Korea have resulted in greater levels of stress among Koreans, and, subsequently, many have turned to smoking again.