Cigarette Sales Up in South Korea

    KT&G cigarettes sold in the domestic market
    Photo: KT&G

    Sales of cigarettes in South Korea rose 3.8 percent in the first half of 2020, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
    South Korean smokers purchased 34.8 billion cigarettes from January until June, compared with 33.4 billion cigarettes in the same period last year.
    Meanwhile, sales of heat-not-burn tobacco products fell 6.6 percent to 180 million units in the first half of 2020. Sales of e-cigarettes plunged 80.3 percent to 1.2 million pods during the period as the government strongly advised people against vaping.
    The longer-term trend of tobacco sales remains firmly downward. Compared with the first half of 2014, cigarette sales declined 14.7 percent.
    In January 2015, South Korea increased the price of cigarettes by 80 percent to KRW4,500 ($3.76). In 2016, it required tobacco companies to place graphic images depicting the harmful effects of smoking on cigarette packs.