Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 3

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 75

tobaccoasia 39 Max Schlatterer GmbH & Co. KG Alt-Ulmer-Straße 89542 Herbrechtingen Germany Phone +49 (0) 73 24 /15-0 Fax +49 (0) 73 24 /15-2 80 Quality Service Research and Development Fit for Future Made in Germany ... endless reliability! The secrets of our success ... Max Schlatterer GmbH & Co. KG Alt-Ulmer-Straße 89542 Herbrechtingen Germany Phone +49 (0) 73 24 /15-0 Fax +49 (0) 73 24 /15-2 80 Development Fit for Future Made in Germany ... endless reliability! The secrets of our success Quality Service Research and Development The secrets of our success Quality our success ... Research and Development Quality Service Research and Development Quality average price of a packet of cigarettes up to ₩4,500. The new tobacco tax has caused cigarette prices to almost double. Compare that price to that of e-liquids. Consumers can buy a 20-milliliter bottle of e-juice for ₩10,000-20,000 (US$9.00- 18.00) online. Liquids containing nicotine, cost more at about ₩30,000. Considering that a 20 ml bottle of e-juice lasts longer than a packet of tobacco cigarettes does for most smokers, the draw is quite obvious. A similar price rise for cigarettes had been introduced previ- ously in 2004 at ₩500 per pack. That price rise saw the smoking rate drop to 50.3% in 2005 from 57.8% in 2004. Korea has a high rate of tobacco consumption – around 43.7% of men and 5% of women are smokers. With the new prices in place, the govern- ment hopes to reduce the country's smoking rate, particularly of adult men which is one of the highest in the world, to 29% by 2020. The government also projected that the increased tobacco tax would lead to a 34% drop in the overall sales of tobacco products, and that it will generate an additional ₩2.8 trillion in tax revenue. The higher tobacco cigarette prices created much mayhem, particularly in the last weeks of 2014 when smokers scrambled to stock up on their favorite smokes. Add to the higher prices the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants and the threat of fines for breaking smoking law that could go up to as high as US$4,550 and it is no wonder why e-cigarettes were suddenly back in favor with consumers. In September 2014, when the government an- nounced the tobacco tax hike, G-Market sold around 25,700 e- cigarettes. In October, that figure changed to 63,700. On the other hand, cigarette sales in Korea saw a sharp drop. KT&G, Korea's largest cigarette manufacturer, saw its sales fig- ures fall by half during the first week of 2015, compared to the same period the previous year. When asked what challenges the Korean e-cigarette market currently faces, Jeong of AIDA said the lack of accurate informa- tion on e-liquid safety and quality, the need to find an alternative to nickel-chromium coils in the devices, and tax. "The tax is too high," he said. "One milliliter of liquid nicotine is taxed at the same rate as a box of tobacco." Jeong, along with many other industry insiders and observers, also see strict government regulations as another challenge the Korean e-cigarette industry must face. They also expect that the direction in which the industry will be regulated will be intensely debated. Steps to develop e-cigarette regulations have already been taken by the government and members of the industry, but the outcome remains unpredictable. Following its report in 2012, Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare remains firm on its position on e-cigarettes. It announced in early 2015 that e-cigarettes contain more carcinogenic sub- stances than conventional cigarettes and that it will strengthen its monitoring of promotions and advertisements for e-cigarettes, along with increasing its efforts to educate consumers about the risks involved with using e-cigarettes. The ministry will also start cracking down on TV home shop- ping channels that are selling e-cigarettes. The law allows the channels to sell products that help users quit smoking, which is how the e-cigarettes are being marketed. However, the channels are banned from selling tobacco products. The Ministry consid- ers e-cigarettes the same as conventional tobacco cigarettes and has said that it will start fining TV stations up to ₩10 million for advertisements that claim e-cigarettes are not harmful or are an effective smoking-cessation tool. The ministry also plans to fine those who smoke e-cigarettes in non-smoking areas. The ministry's bureau chief of health policy, Ryu Geun- hyeok, has been reported to say, "Various similar carcinogen- ic substances contained in tobacco cigarettes were detected in e-cigarette vapor, so smokers must not consider them as a smoking-cessation device." Interestingly, the Korean government's stance on e-ciga- rettes and how they are regulated has been the subject of ire and ridicule from the public, some even going as far as accus- ing the government of simply trying to fatten its tax coffers by monitoring e-cigarettes under the pretense of concern for public health, but doing so by constantly citing its research in 2012 instead of new studies providing more relevant and up-to-date data.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Tobacco Asia - Volume 19, Number 3