National prevalence of smoking among adolescents at tobacco tax increase and COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, 2005-2022.

Hong S, Woo S, Kim S, Park J, Lee M, Kim S, Koyanagi A, Smith L, Kim MS, López Sánchez GF, Dragioti E, Rahmati M, Fond G, Boyer L, Oh J, Lee H, Yon DK

Sci Rep 14 (1) 7823 [2024-04-03; online 2024-04-03]

Prior research has predominantly focused on the overall effects of the tobacco tax increase and the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent smoking behavior. However, there is a need to examine both the immediate and sustained associations of these two factors on subgroups of adolescents, employing an interrupted time-series model. We aimed to investigate the immediate and sustained association of tobacco tax increase and the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent smoking prevalence. This study utilized data from the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey to analyze the prevalence of current smoking among all participants (CSP) and the prevalence of daily smoking among current smokers (DSP) of Korean adolescents (n = 1,159,995; mean, age 14.99; male 51.5%) over 18 years from 2005 to 2022. The study examined 18-year trends in CSP and DSP among Korean adolescents, emphasizing the influences of the 2015 tobacco tax increase and the COVID-19 pandemic, using β coefficients and their differences (βdiff) from an interrupted time-series ARIMA model. While CSP exhibited a decreasing trend, DSP exhibited an increasing trend. Tobacco tax increase was associated with both the short and long terms in smoking prevalence, however, the short-term association on prevalence (CSP, - 3.076 [95% CI, - 3.707 to - 2.445]; DSP, - 4.112 [95% CI, - 6.488 to - 1.735]) was stronger. The pandemic was associated with an immediate increase in DSP (9.345 [95% CI, 5.285-13.406]). These effects were strongest among adolescents from low economic status and those exposed to familial secondhand smoking. Supportive programs for adolescents in low-income families will help overcome the effects associated with the pandemic. As a tobacco tax increase was associated with a reduction in smoking prevalence, this could be one method to overcome the effects of the pandemic.

Category: Health

Category: Public Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38570551

DOI 10.1038/s41598-024-58446-4

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-024-58446-4

pmc: PMC10991517
pii: 10.1038/s41598-024-58446-4

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