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As Philip Morris successfully launched their iQOS last May, and other tobacco companies are following suit, government authorities in South Korea announced that they will be carrying out tests on the product, to rule out any possible health risks.
“Philip Morris has invested about 3.4 trillion won since 2008 in developing a tobacco product that ‘doesn’t burn.’ While anti-smoking policy should of course continue to be implemented, we think as much that it’s our job as a tobacco company to create a less harmful product for those who wish to smoke,” said Chong Il-woo, the managing director of Philip Morris Korea, at a media briefing in Seoul back in May.
“Opposition lawmakers have introduced a revision to existing rules recently demanding a hike on e-cigarettes taxes, arguing that the two types of cigarettes all use tobacco. Their move is supported by the drug safety ministry”, read the article.
Higher tax revenue vs public health
Inline with what many public health experts keep stating, e-cigarette manufacturers said that doubling the prices of the devices due to taxes would be detrimental to public health, since many smokers turn to the products for smoking cessation.
South Korea has been actively fighting smoking. Earlier this year the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea, has successfully implemented a regulation that forces cigarette manufacturers to put graphic images of the harmful effects of smoking on cigarette packets. Imposing a tax and hiking the prices of cessation aides would go against this movement.
Source : The Korea Herald