Sales of cigarettes in Korea rose 14.6 percent in January from a year earlier, data showed on Feb. 28, despite an anti-smoking campaign and higher prices.
Korean smokers purchased 292 million 20-cigarette packs in January, compared with 254.8 million in the same period last year, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Still, the figure represents a 12.6 percent drop from January 2014.
Korea increased the price of cigarettes by 80 percent in January 2015, from 2,500 won (US$2.20) per pack to 4,500 won, in a move to curb smoking.
The Korean government mandated that tobacco companies place graphic images depicting the harmful effects of smoking on the upper part of cigarette packs in 2016.
The data also highlighted the growing popularity of e-cigarettes in Korea.
Sales of heat-not-burn electronic cigarettes came to 31.7 million packs in January from a year earlier, accounting for 10.9 percent of the country’s total tobacco market.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)