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Do South Korean girls smoke?


Smoking is a prevalent habit that has been around for centuries, and it is practiced by people from different walks of life. In South Korea, smoking is a significant issue, and it is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. However, the question remains, do South Korean girls smoke? In this article, we will explore this question in detail.

South Korean Culture and Smoking

In South Korea, smoking is relatively common, and it is often seen as a social activity. The culture of smoking in South Korea dates back to the early 1900s when Japanese soldiers introduced tobacco to the country. Since then, smoking has become a part of daily life in South Korea.

Smoking Statistics in South Korea

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 33% of adults (over 15 years old) in South Korea smoke. This statistic is higher than the global average of 21%. Additionally, the same report indicates that approximately 23% of women in South Korea smoke.

Reasons for Smoking Among South Korean Girls

The reasons why South Korean girls smoke vary widely. Some girls start smoking because they want to be part of a group or social circle. Others start smoking due to peer pressure or as a way to reduce stress or anxiety. Some girls also start smoking because they believe that it helps them lose weight or maintain an ideal body shape.

Health Risks Associated with Smoking Among Girls

Smoking among girls can lead to several health risks, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory infections, and reproductive problems. Additionally, secondhand smoke exposure can cause health problems for non-smokers.

Anti-Smoking Campaigns in South Korea

In recent years, the South Korean government has launched several anti-smoking campaigns to reduce tobacco use among the population. These campaigns include increased taxes on tobacco products, advertising bans, and smoking cessation programs.

Smoking Bans in South Korea

In 2016, South Korea implemented a smoking ban in public places, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. However, the ban has not been fully enforced, and many businesses continue to allow smoking.

The Role of Education in Reducing Smoking Among Girls

Educational programs can play a critical role in reducing smoking among girls in South Korea. These programs can help to teach young girls about the health risks associated with smoking, the dangers of secondhand smoke, and how to resist peer pressure.

The Importance of Family Support

Family support is essential in reducing smoking among girls. Parents can play a critical role in discouraging their children from smoking by setting a good example and providing information about the health risks associated with tobacco use.

Alternative Ways to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Since stress and anxiety are common reasons why girls smoke, promoting alternative ways to cope with these issues is crucial. Encouraging girls to engage in physical activity, meditation, or other healthy habits can help reduce the desire to smoke.

The Need for Continued Research

Despite the efforts to reduce tobacco use among the population, more research is needed to understand why South Korean girls smoke and how best to prevent it. Continued research can help policymakers develop effective strategies to reduce tobacco use among the population.


In conclusion, smoking is prevalent among adults in South Korea, including women. While the government has taken steps to reduce tobacco use among the population, more work is needed to address this issue fully. Educational programs, family support, and alternative ways to cope with stress and anxiety can all play important roles in reducing smoking among girls.

Is smoking common in South Korea?

Several surveys have been conducted to determine the rate of smoking in South Korea. The World Health Organization’s 2017 report stated that about 49.8% of adult Korean males and 4.2% of adult Korean females were smokers in 2015. [3]

Do Koreans smoke more than Americans?

Smoking is a widespread habit in Asia, particularly among men. In Japan, around 30% of men smoke, while in South Korea, the number is even higher at 39.1%, based on 2016 data. In comparison, the percentage of adults aged 18 and above who smoke in the United States is 15.5%, while in California, which has the lowest smoking rate in the nation, it is only 11.6%, second only to Utah.

What is the smoking age in Korea?

You can buy cigarettes at most convenience stores and the legal age for purchasing cigarettes in Korea is 19 years old.

Which country smokes the most?

China holds the title of being the most populous country on Earth as well as being the global leader in the production of cigarettes.

Which country smokes the least?

Sweden has the lowest rates of smoking among European countries, with only 9.3% of the population being smokers. Other countries with low smoking rates include Iceland (11.2%), Finland (12.5%), Norway (12.9%), and Luxembourg (13.5%). Sweden has been struggling with tobacco use for a long time.

Which Asians smoke the most?

Three Asian countries, namely China, India, and Indonesia, are home to approximately 50% of the world’s male smokers as of March 29, 2019.

Additionally, increasing access to smoking cessation programs and resources can also help reduce tobacco use among girls in South Korea. These programs can provide support and guidance for those trying to quit smoking, including nicotine replacement therapy and counseling.

It is also important to address the role of advertising and marketing in promoting tobacco products. Banning or restricting tobacco advertising can help reduce the appeal of smoking among girls, as well as reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Another important aspect to consider is the cultural norms and attitudes towards smoking in South Korea. Addressing these social factors can help create a shift towards a smoke-free culture and reduce the social pressure to smoke.

Furthermore, enforcing smoking bans in public places can also contribute to reducing tobacco use among girls. It can create a smoke-free environment and encourage smokers to quit or reduce their tobacco intake.

Lastly, raising awareness about the harmful effects of smoking on the environment can also contribute to reducing tobacco use among girls. Cigarette butts are one of the most common forms of litter worldwide, which can have negative impacts on wildlife and water sources.

In conclusion, reducing smoking among girls in South Korea requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses social, cultural, and individual factors. By implementing comprehensive policies and educational programs, providing support and resources for smoking cessation, and raising awareness about the harmful effects of smoking, we can work towards creating a healthier and smoke-free society.

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