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Epidemiol Health. 2014 Oct 28;36:e2014023. doi: 10.4178/epih/e2014023. eCollection 2014.

Trends in cigarette smoking among adolescents and adults in South Korea.

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Division of Health and Nutrition Survey, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea.


This report is to examine changes in the smoking prevalence among adults and adolescents and provide basic data for national health policies. Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1998 to 2013 and Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey from 2005 to 2013 were used to estimate national adults and adolescents smoking prevalence. In 2013, current cigarette smoking prevalence among male adults and female adults was 42.1% and 6.2%, decreasing by 1.6% points and 1.7% points, respectively compared to 2012. Among adolescents, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 14.4% for male and 4.6% for female students, decreasing by 1.9%points and 1.3%points, respectively compared to 2012. The highest current cigarette smoking prevalence was observed among adults of lower household income or lower education level and among middle and high school students of lower perceived household economic status or lower perceived academic records. Current cigarette smoking prevalence among male adults has decreased since 2011, whereas among female adults, there were no statistically significant annual changes. Among middle and high school students, the prevalence for male students decreased since 2011 and for female students decreased since 2006. But the smoking prevalence did not meet the Health Plan 2020 target.


Adolescents; Adults; Cigarette smoking; South Korea

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