search for



Cross mark




View (74) Download (918) CrossRef (1)
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
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 ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, dis-tribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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
  1. Lavack AM. De릒ormalization of tobacco in Canada. Soc Mar Q. 1999; 5(3): 82-5.
  2. Alamar B, Glantz SA. Effect of increased social unacceptability of cigarette smoking on reduction in cigarette consumption. Am J Public Health. 2006; 96(8): 1359-63.
  3. Baha M, Le Faou AL. Smokers’ reasons for quitting in an anti-smoking social context. Public Health. 2010; 124(4): 225-31.
  4. Gilpin EA, Lee L, Pierce JP. Changes in population attitudes about where smoking should not be allowed: California versus the rest of the USA. Tob Control. 2004; 13(1): 38-44.
  5. Hammond D, Fong GT, Zanna MP, Thrasher JF, Borland R. Tobacco denormalization and industry beliefs among smokers from four countries. Am J Prev Med. 2006; 31(3): 225-32.
  6. US Department of Health, Education and Welfare(1964). Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. Washington DC: US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
  7. Glantz SA, Barnes DE, Bero L, Hanauer P, Slade J. Looking through a keyhole at the tobacco industry: The Brown and Williamson documents. JAMA. 1995; 274: 219-24.
  8. Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Education. Korea Youth Health Statistics:The Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (KYRBS). 2019 [in Korean]. Sejong City, Korea: MHWK, 2020.
  9. Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health Statistics : the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). 2019 [in Korean]. Sejong City, Korea: MHWK, 2020.
  10. Namuwiki. Tobacco [Internat]. [cited 2021 March 24]. Available from C%82%AC.
  11. A quick look at Korean history: 400 years of tobacco history. Kyunghyang Shinmun, 2004.12.08. Korean. [cited 2021 March 24]. Available from id=200412081723251.
  12. Hamel H, translated by Lee Byeong-do, Nanseonnanpagi-joseonguggi, Seoul Iljogag. 1975: 92.
  13. SIHN K, SEO H. The Introduction of tobacco and the diffusion of smoking culture in Korea. Korean J Med Hist. 2001; 10(1): 23-59.
  14. Tobacco and alcohol. Doglib Sinmun April 19, 1899. Korean.
  15. No smoking speech again yesterday. Daehan Maeil Sinbo. April 12, 1907. Korean.
  16. Children’s smoking (Editorial). Maeil Shinbo February 27, 1912. Korean.
  17. Yu Yidong Ordinary school students are encouraged to ban smoking: starting with stop smoking of all staffs. Maeil Shinbo. January 20, 1915. Korean.
  18. The lectures on alcohol-free and non-smoking for publics. Maeil Shinbo. April 18, 1921.
  19. Students smoking ban. Maeil Shinbo. December 22, 1921. Korean.
  20. Watch out for the growing number of children who smoke. Joongae Ilbo. August 3, 1930.
  21. Jeonghwan Bang. Cigarette pack. Joongeui Ilbo. March 18, 1930. Korean.
  22. The harm from smoking : It is more serious as you are younger. Maeil Shinbo. June 24, 1935.
  23. When a boy smokes, he suffers a serious health problem in his brain such as decreased memory and cold hands and feet. Chosun Ilbo. June 25, 1935. Korean.
  24. Minors should not smoke cigarettes : From this fall, it will be banned by law. Maeil Shinbo. July 11, 1936. Korean.
  25. Cigarette is harmful or harmless? : Definitely harmful based on the results from laboratory experiment! Dong-A Ilbo. July 24, 1937. Korean.
  26. Prohibiting minors intended to be twenty-on from smoking as well as marriage in Japan. Jegug Sinmun. March 7, 1900. Korean.
  27. The law on smoking ban for minors. Japanese. [cited 2021 March 14]. Avaialble from쑋닇亮닺끻뼨뀢獵곫€퀡.
  28. Nemoto Tadashi. Japanese. [cited 2021 March 14]. Avaialble from졊쑍閭.
  29. 쁔he law on smoking ban for minors could not be implemented’ talked by Yokota, Legal Director. Dong-A Ilbo. April 10, 1922. Korean.
  30. Yoon ES. The Temperance Movement of the Korean Church in the 1920s-1930s : Focusing on movement for drinking and smoking ban. Journal of Studies on Korean National Movement. 2009; 59: 127-66.
  31. Let’s ban alcohol and tobacco use for minors of Korean future owners. Joongeui Ilbo. May 8, 1930. Korean.
  32. Anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco law and specific policies for minors enforced by Christian organizations. Chosun Ilbo. May 9, 1930. Korean.
  33. A Study of Rev. S. S. Song’ Anti-alcohol & Smoking Movement, Kosin University Graduate School. 2016.
  34. Song S. 랢ollection of historical materials on the study of Korean temperance education. 143.
  35. Petition of the law on prohibition minors from drinking and early marriage in Joseon same as in Japan, Pyongyang Temperance Council Vigorous Movement. Maeil Shinbo. December 1st, 1935. Korean.
  36. Organization of urgency meeting for implementation of the law on smoking and drinking ban for minors. Chosun JoongAng Ilbo. December 14, 1935. Korean.
  37. Enactment of prohibition sales to minors under the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors. Maeil Shinbo. April 8, 1936. Korean.
  38. Reflecting social cultural environment in Joseon for the Implementation of the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors. Maeil Shinbo. January 17, 1937. Korean.
  39. Uprising of civil organization and interviewing with the representative governor for reasons to be carried out against the opinions on the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors are premature in Joseon. Maeil Shinbo. Jan. 24, 1937. Korean.
  40. Deliberation of Legislative Affairs Bureau on the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors is over and will be publicized in April. Maeil Shinbo. March 23, 1938. Korean.
  41. The law on drinking and smoking ban for minors will be implemented from the 1st April. Maeil Shinbo. March 26, 1938. Korean.
  42. Holding congratulatory ceremony on the implementation of the law for drinking and smoking ban for minors laws. Maeil Shinbo. March 23, 1938. Korean.
  43. Completion of idea of 쁍aeeon-ilche’ : Amendment of the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors and the decree for youth training institute. Maeil Shinbo. April 1, 1938. Korean.
  44. Editorial : The law on drinking and smoking ban for minors will be implemented from the 1st April. Dong-A Ilbo. February 3, 1938. Korean.
  45. Joseon 쁂hristian women’s society for temperance’ have been consolidated in 쁉apanese christian women’s society for correction’. Maeil Shinbo. June 20, 1939. Korean.
  46. Campaign to comply with the law on drinking and smoking ban for minors : covering influential people from various sectors and penalty imposed on violators of the the law. Maeil Shinbo. November 7, 1939. Korean.
  47. 쁃ecree for Joseon Youth’ was announced today and would be implemented since 25th. Maeil Shinbo. March 24, 1942. Korean.
  48. Youth protection system : correction and protection of criminal youth to avoid being imprinted with a crime of the past. Maeil Shinbo. April 18, 1942. Korean.