Sales down, revenue up

    Sales of cigarettes in South Korea during the first six months of this year were down by 1.6 percent on those of the first half of last year, according to a Yonhap News Agency story citing data compiled by the finance ministry.
    South Korean smokers bought 1.68 billion 20-piece cigarette packs from January to June, down from 1.71 billion packs during the same months of 2017.
    But not everything was down. The Government collected 5.5 trillion won in taxes from cigarette sales during January-June, up 1.5 percent from the taxes collected during the same months of 2017, 5.4 trillion won.
    It is not hard to see why these figures are as they are. In January 2015, the price of cigarettes in South Korea was increased by 80 percent, from 2,500 won (US$2.25) to 4,500 won per pack, almost entirely through a tax increase.
    In 2016, the Government mandated that tobacco companies put graphic warnings on the upper part of both sides of cigarette packs.