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Did Soju and Cigarettes Ease Stress?

Posted January. 30, 2005 22:52,   


It was known that the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes remarkably increased in spite of a serious consumption slump last year.

The number of cigarettes consumed exceeded 100 billion for the first time since 1998, and the consumption of soju, the alcoholic beverage for the common people, also rose. This reflects the mental stress of common people from the economic slump.

The Korea National Statistical Office and related business circles reported yesterday that the number of cigarettes shipped to domestic markets recorded 105.407 billion last year, 22.4 percent up from the previous year.

With the smoking population estimated at 10.8 million (by the Ministry of Health and Welfare), each smoker consumed an average of 9,760 cigarettes (or 488 packs) last year, more than one pack per day.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, the relatively cheap alcoholic beverages, including soju and beer, were consumed more, but sales of whiskey were sharply lower due to its expensive price.

The amount of soju shipped to domestic markets enjoyed an increase of 3.8 percent in 2004 (1,081,833 kL) compared to that of the previous year (1,044,038 kL).

It means that 35 million Korean adults, age 20 or above, drank 3,005.09 million bottles of 360-milliliter soju, which means Korean adults drank an average of about 86 bottles each.

Chi-Young Shin higgledy@donga.com