A group of smokers called on the government today to shelve its plan to sharply raise cigarette prices, saying it will increase the financial burden on low-income people.
Last week, the government announced it will push to raise the price of cigarettes by 2,000 won per pack, an about 80 percent increase from the current average price of 2,500 won, starting next year. The plan requires parliamentary approval before it can go into effect.
Members of “I Love Smoking,” an on-line community of smokers, said in a news conference that they oppose the government’s push for a sharp increase in cigarette prices.
They said that low-income people will have to bear the brunt of the planned jump in cigarette prices, and that the government should drop the plan and come up with a more acceptable solution.
The smokers’ group said that they will stage an on-line campaign to collect smokers’ signatures in their bid to thwart the government plan.
Officials said that the price hike plan is aimed at cutting the country’s high smoking rate, but critics claimed that the plan may be designed to increase tax revenue.
Source: Busan eFM News