The South Korean Government continues their fight to reduce the amount of people smoking in the country. Earlier this year, new laws passed that further tightened restrictions on smoking indoors and taxes raised the prices of cigarette packs across the nation. A new proposal being passed through the National Assembly would force cigarette companies to print anti-smoking photos on cigarette packs. The rule would go into effect following an 18-month grace period. These anti-smoking photos include images of damaged lungs, mouth and throat cancer, and other graphic images of the potential harmful side effects of smoking.
Several other countries around the world have adopted similar laws regarding the packaging of their cigarettes and almost all of them have seen significant reductions in smoking rates following their implementation. For example, Brazil saw smoking rates drop from 31% to 22.4% in one year following the packaging changes.
The battle against smoking has shown its effectiveness as the rate of males over 19 years of age who smoke has dropped 4% since last year. In 2013, 42.5% of men over 19 were shown to be smokers, but the government hopes to reduce this number to 35% by 2016 and 29% by 2020.