The government wants cigarette prices, which are currently between 4,500 won ($4.02) and 5,000 won a pack, to reach the level of OECD countries by 2030 to improve the general public’s health.
Korean households on average spent 19,651 won ($17.76) per month on alcohol during the third quarter this year, an all-time high since Statistics Korea started collecting the data in 2003.
Mr. Park, who enjoys a drink or two after work, was surprised recently to notice the relatively low prices on whiskey and bourbon at his local Emart. “To be honest, cheaper whiskies taste no different from premium whiskies."
An employee organizes cans of non-alcoholic beer on a shelf at a discount store in Seoul on Thursday. As more Koreans prefer to drink responsibly, competition for non-alcoholic beer is heating up.