Number of Female Smokers Increasing

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Number of Female Smokers Increasing

There are now more woman smoking, and the rate is increasing.

According to a Gallup Korea survey, the percentage of smokers in their 20s, which was 1.5 percent in 1990 and 4.5 percent in 1999, has risen this year to 5.7 percent. Alarmingly, women smokers in this age group have reached 9.5 percent this year, about 10 times higher than 10 years ago.

The percentage of all Koreans smoking is at 34.5 percent consistent with previous years.

A spokesperson for the anti-smoking civic group that asked Gallup to conduct the survey commented that they had, with the new millennium, expected a decrease in the number of people smoking, but this turned out "not to be true."

Most Korean smokers start their deadly habit in the 19-24 age range, or 55.3 percent of those surveyed. Those starting even earlier, ages 16 to 18, were 24.1 percent of those polled. Those who started under the age of 15, underage and legally not able to buy cigarettes, were 8.3 percent of the survey group.

by Shin Song-sik

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