Korea driving a strict bargain on smoking

Korea driving a strict bargain on smoking

Smokers of the younger generations face challenges very different from those which troubled the previous generations, raising the need for new countermeasures suitable to the present smoking scene, as per the health experts.

The smoking rate has been decreasing in Korea, with the percentage of male adult smokers hitting a record low of 38.1 percent in the year 2017. In July, government efforts to improvize smoking free atmosphere were noted by the World Health Organization report on the global tobacco epidemic, which gave the credit to the drop in smoking rate to state-run services.

But the overall numbers contrast the growing number of younger smokers in recent years, as new platforms to addiction have emerged with technological advancement.

During the World “No Tobacco Day” celebration on May 31, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo focused on the new challenges posed by the evolving smoking trend, promising an upgraded anti-smoking policy to counter-attack the innovations in cigarette manufacturing.

When the US e-cigarette brand Juul hit the local market in May, the Health and Welfare Ministry figured out new plans to resist it from attracting teen smokers, including strict rules on sales of online cigarettes.

Identity verification will be required for tobacco purchase online, to counter access by minors,  a deputy director of the ministry’s health promotion division, stated in an interview.

The ministry’s response is a reaction to the findings by a 2017 research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stated that the new types of cigarettes more appealing to the younger smokers between the ages of 13 and 39, and more to women than men.