Sales down in South Korea

Cigarette sales in South Korea have been falling this year because of higher prices and a government-led anti-smoking campaign, according to a Xinhua story citing a government report published on Monday.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance reported that the number of cigarette-packs sold during the first 10 months of this year was down by 1.9 percent on that of the same period of last year.
Cigarette sales fell sharply after January 1, 2015, when the Government imposed a WON2,000 (about US$1.80) per-pack tax rise on cigarettes that increased by about 80 percent to WON4,500 (about $4.10) the price of the average pack of cigarettes.
Since then, sales have risen and fallen, but the general trend has been down.
At the time of the price hike, the Government increased the scope of its public-places smoking bans, and since then has introduced graphic health warnings.
But shortly after the tax-driven price hike, it was reported that at least part of the fall in cigarette sales had been offset by a rise in sales of vaping products, at that time, electronic cigarettes.
Since then, heat-not-burn products have appeared on the market, and sales of these have no doubt reduced cigarette sales.
Despite lower cigarette sales, the Government was said to have collected WON9.7 trillion (US$8.6 billion) in cigarette taxes during the first 10 months of this year, 2.6 percent more than it collected during the same period of last year.