South Korea Smoking Rate Hits All-Time Low

    Photo: Dzmitry

    The smoking rate of South Koreans aged 19 and up fell below 20 percent for the first time in 2020, reports the Yonhap News Agency, citing a new Statistics Korea study.

    The smoking rate of Korean adults declined to a record low of 19.2 percent in 2020, down 1 percentage point from 20.2 percent a year earlier.

    The smoking rate fell 7.7 percentage points from 26.9 percent in 2010.

    The results cover those who have consumed more than five packs of cigarettes over their lifetime and are currently smoking.

    In 2020, the smoking rate among Korean men aged 19 and older reached a record low of 33 percent, down from 34.7 percent a year earlier.

    The corresponding rate for Korean women aged 19 and older came to 5.5 percent, down from 5.9 percent in 2019.

    Experts attributed the decline in smoking to growing public awareness of health and the government’s anti-smoking drive.

    In January 2015, the government raised the price of cigarettes by 80 percent to KRW4,500 ($3.70) per pack from KRW2,500.