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Impact of Social Norms and Environmental Changes on Adolescent Tobacco Use: A Historical Review
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2021; 12(1): 16-23
Published online June 15, 2021
© 2021 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Min Kyung Lim1, Seung Hoon Lee2*

1Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, 2Department of Humanities and Social Science, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
Correspondence to: 씠듅썕
쓣吏븰援 쓽怨쇰븰 씤臾몄궗쉶怨쇳븰援먯떎
E-mail: nslsh@eulji.ac.kr
ORDID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7648-3617
Received May 18, 2021; Revised June 3, 2021; Accepted June 4, 2021.
This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, dis-tribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
 Abstract
Recently, the implementation of tobacco control policies, including the prohibition of adolescent tobacco use, has been challenged by the introduction of novel tobacco products. This has re-normalized tobacco use, despite control measures, such as the expansion of smoke-free areas, increased tobacco taxes, reinforcement of health warnings, and other deterrents being increasingly enforced in Korea. This study reviews the recent history of tobacco use and control in Korea to understand how changes in social norms and the environment affect the awareness of tobacco control policies and tobacco affordability, especially for adolescents. In the mid-Joseon dynasty, tobacco use was prevalent among adolescents and adults due to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the dangers of tobacco use, the economic benefits of tobacco agriculture, the lack of a comprehensive control plan, and other activities driven by government. However, with the increase in scientific evidence on its harmful health effects and recognition of the need to prohibit adolescent tobacco use in society, the problem of tobacco use was acknowledged, and a regulatory law was enacted. In particular, the redefining of social norms, including discouraging the custom of early marriage and changing the definition of underage, reduced tobacco affordability and outlawed adolescent tobacco use. Based on past experiences, adolescent tobacco use should be prohibited with systematic control policies and multisectoral approaches in society. We could begin the tobacco endgame in Korea by the process of tobacco de-normalization.
Keywords : Adolescent; Tobacco use; Social norm; Social environment; De-normalization; Control; Policy; Korea
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