The government-led anti-smoking efforts are proving to be ineffective as of late.
2016 saw a rebound in cigarettes sales.
According to data compiled by Nielson Korea, smokers in the nation purchased 72.9 billion packs of cigarettes last year, a 9.3 percent on-year rise.
While it appears various campaigns including an 80-percent price increase in 2015 did help cut sales, industry experts point out that various stress factors like the massive presidential scandal may have prompted smokers to light up more frequently, or for quitters to pick up the habit again last year.
However many anticipate sales will dip again late this month when cigarette packets with graphic images showing the harmful effects of smoking hit shelves.