Cigarette sales down 0.6 pct in

SEJONG, Sales of cigarettes in South Korea edged down 0.6 percent in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier, data showed Wednesday, amid an anti-smoking campaign and higher prices.

South Korean smokers purchased 1.67 billion 20-cigarette packs in the January-June period, compared with 1.68 billion packs in the same period last year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The figures represent a 17.8 percent drop from the first half of 2014.

South Korea increased the price of cigarettes by 80 percent in January 2015, from 2,500 won (US$2) per pack to 4,500 won, in a move to curb smoking.

The South Korean government mandated that tobacco companies place graphic images depicting the harmful effects of smoking on the upper part of cigarette packs in 2016.

Meanwhile, sales of heat-not-burn tobacco products jumped 24.2 percent on-year to 190 million packs in the first half, accounting for 11.6 percent of the country's total tobacco market.

The ministry also said sales of closed system vaporizer-based liquid e-cigarettes came to 6 million pods.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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