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Changes in Smoking Behavior and Related Factors after an Increase in Tobacco Prices: Findings from the Korean Welfare Panel Study
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2022; 13(2): 43-52
Published online June 30, 2022
© 2022 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Minjae Choi1, Jinyoung Kim2*

1Graduate School of Public Health, Ajou University, Suwon, 2Korea Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: 源吏꾩쁺
븳援떞諛곌퇋젣뿰援ш탳쑁꽱꽣
E-mail: jy9651@daum.net
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7007-2312
Received May 9, 2022; Revised June 27, 2022; Accepted June 27, 2022.
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
Background: In 2015, the Korean government raised tobacco tax, which resulted in increased tobacco prices by 80%. This study examined the trends of smoking behavior, quantity of smoking, and changes in smoking behavior and its associated factor after the tobacco price increase.
Methods: We used data from the Korean Welfare Panel Study for 2014-2018. To investigate trends in smoking behavior and quantity, we assessed the proportion of quitters and the smoking quantity of persistent smokers after the tobacco price increase. Using multinomial logistic regression analysis, the study identified the association between socio-demographic and health-related factors and changes in smoking behavior from 2015 to 2016.
Results: Out of 2,012 smokers as of 2014, 19.7% of smokers quit after the implementation of increased tobacco prices in 2015; however, this rate gradually decreased from 19.7% in 2015 to 8.6% in 2018. Similarly, smoking quantity significantly decreased from 15.53 sticks to 14.85 sticks in 2015 but increased to 15.95 sticks in 2018. The probability of quitting was higher among women or the elderly. Compared with the middle-income group, the low- and high-income groups were more likely to quit smoking after the increase in tobacco prices.
Conclusion: The increase in tobacco tax, which was implemented in 2015, temporarily led to smoking cessation and reduction of tobacco consumption. A higher probability of quitting was observed among persons with low-income status, which suggests that considering price and nonprice policies is necessary to increase long-term smoking cessation.
Keywords : Tobacco price; Smoking cessation; Tobacco control
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