Streetwise smokers

    A recent study has revealed that almost half of South Korea’s ‘young smokers’ buy cigarettes at stores directly, according to a story in The Korea Bizwire.
    The Korea Health Promotion Institute reportedly said that an online survey that questioned ‘adolescents’ on how they bought cigarettes found that 48 percent had bought them at convenience stores or other shops.
    Meanwhile, 34.6 percent said they ‘gained access to cigarettes through friends’, 9.7 percent said they took cigarettes ‘available’ in their own homes or their friends’ homes, 4.0 percent said they obtained cigarettes from adults, and 3.7 percent said they picked up cigarettes from the street.
    The Institute said the study indicated that cigarettes were being sold to ‘minors’ despite such sales being illegal.
    And it added that stronger regulations were needed to protect ‘adolescents’ from smoking, though there was no mention of what sorts of regulations would work better.
    The study looked too at cigarette advertising and found that 78.5 percent of respondents said they had seen cigarette advertisements in magazines, online, in convenience stores and at supermarkets within the previous 30 days.
    A survey carried out by the Institute last year found that all 1,235 convenience stores near schools had cigarette advertisements. On average, there were 25 cigarette advertisements at every convenience store.