S. Korea’s teen smoking, drinking hit lowest in 2020

2021.03.31 15:08:16 | 2021.03.31 15:35:59

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]

Teenage smoking and drinking rate in South Korea hit all-time lows in the Covid-19 year of 2020, data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) showed.

According to new data from KDCA’s 2020 Youth Health Behavior Survey released Tuesday, smoking rates among secondary school pupils dropped to the lowest level since data was first collected in 2015.

The rate of having smoked a puff over the last 30 days was 4.4 percent in 54,848 middle and high school students versus 6.7 percent in the previous year. Both cigarette smoking and vaping fell to record lows, the survey found.

Alcohol drinking also fell to the lowest with just 10.7 percent of teens reporting that they had drunk at least once in the past 30 days compared to 15.0 percent in the previous year.

But whether the phenomenon has been temporarily induced by social distancing measures against Covid-19 or other factors remains to be seen, said KDCA commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong.

By Chung Ji-sung and Lee Soo-min

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