Korea to Ban Small Cigarette Packs


Korean government said last week that it has in its plans a new initiative which would prohibit sale of small cigarette packs in the markets. It explained that the initiative would make part of country’s efforts to discourage people from smoking and reduce smoking rates.

Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare told that it wants to modify the National Health Promotion Act and include in it points that ban sales and advertisement of cigarette packs with less than the standard 20 sticks.

Normally, cigarette packs contain 20 sticks. However, past years manufacturers launched smaller packs with 14 and even 10 sticks.
For example, in April 2014, British American Tobacco released its new Dunhill Exotic with just 14 cigarettes in each pack. Other tobacco company Japan Tobacco Inc. launced a slimmer version of its Camel brand.

Authorities of health ministry explained that the new anti-tobacco initiative is needed to discourage people from smoking. It is going to prevent kids and teens from starting the habit, because they tend to buy cheaper cigarettes.

They wrote:
“Small cigarette packs seem to make it possible for minors to purchase them more easily, canceling out state policy to enhance public health.”

At the beginning of 2015, Korea increased taxes on cigarettes by 2,000 won (US$1.70) per package with the aim to reduce smoking rates.
Such developed countries as the USA, Canada, and countries in Europe have either prohibited smaller cigarette packs or plan to do this in the future. Canada banned such packs back in 1994, the USA in 2010. EU plan to do this in 2016.

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