The South Korean government has proposed a huge increase in cigarette price to reduce consumption in a country with some of the world’s heaviest smokers.
The current price of a packet of cigarettes is 2,500 won. Under the proposal, the average cost would go up to 4,500 won ($4.35) starting January 1 next year.
The decision still requires the approval of parliament, but medical experts argued that it was necessary to counter what has become the biggest threat to public health.
The government aims to cut the smoking rate among men, as South Korea has the highest number of smokers among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Battle to Combat Smoking
The country has already taken a series of strict measures in recent years to reduce the rate.
The proposal calls for a ban on cigarette ads in convenient stores.
Local officials also suggest making graphic warning labels on cigarette packs mandatory. The move will force manufacturers to print picture warnings on their products.