South Korea is a high-income country with high rates of smoking, particularly among men. In August 2018, TPackSS collected cigarette packs in the two largest cities in South Korea: Seoul and Busan. Cigarettes were purchased in 9 neighborhoods (4 middle- and 5-high income) in Seoul and 4 neighborhoods (1 middle- and 3 high-income) in Busan. Each neighborhood was selected based on areas where young adults live, study, and socialize. In total, 182 unique cigarette packs were purchased. While traditional misleading descriptors (low, mild, etc.) are banned, many South Korean cigarette packs routinely display the machine-assessed tar yield on the packaging, potentially misleading the consumer on the health effects of smoking (https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/institute-for-global-tobacco-control/resources/posters-and-presentations/2019/Iacobelli_Korean%20Numbers_Poster_SRNT_2019.pdf).
Dr. Joanna Cohen holds the Bloomberg Professorship of Disease Prevention at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; this work was supported by the professorship endowment.