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Cigarette Prices to Rise 500 Won

Posted December. 24, 2004 22:33,   


The price of cigarettes will rise by about 500 won a pack beginning on December 30.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Ministry of Health and Welfare revealed their plan on Friday, saying, “Taxes and burden charges on a pack of cigarettes, such as the health improvement tax and the cigarette consumption tax, will increase by 409 won beginning on December 30.”

“The price hike is part of the government’s effort to follow the recommendation, titled, ‘the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,’ led by the World Health Organization in order to lower the smoking rate,” said an official from the Health Ministry. “The government will actively pursue a measure to raise cigarette prices by an additional 500 won a pack by the end of next year.”

Accordingly, KT & G, the nation’s dominant cigarette maker with 76 to 77 percent local market share, revealed, “Despite the increase in taxes and burden charges, it is likely that international cigarette exporting companies will be engaged in intense competition over prices. However, KT & G decided to raise prices 500 won per pack beginning on December 30.”

Among brands of cigarettes, the price of “Cloud 9,” now sells at 2,500 won, will rise to 3,000 won per pack with “Esse” and “Raison,” now sold at 2,000 won, increasing to 2,500 won. In addition, “This” and “This Plus,” which now cost 1,500 and 1,600 won, respectively, will increase to 2,000 and 2,100 won, respectively. But “Sol,” designed for the common people, will continue to be sold at its current 200 won.

As the time of raising cigarette price is approaching, the number of smokers who want to buy cigarettes in advance is increased, causing some brands of cigarettes to run out of stock at retailers.

Kyung-Joon Chung news91@donga.com