Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Up in Smoke - Fun with statistics

An interesting little artcile on the consumption patterns of Koreans released by the National Statistics Office was published in the Joongang today. A coulple factoids:

10,931 - Amount in Won per month spent on "Printed Material" (books, newspapers, magazines, etc.)
21,094 - Amount in Won per month spent on cigarettes

The NSO attributed the low consumption of printed material due to the increased use of the internet. However it it really all that suprising if you break down the consumption:

500 - Price of Newspaper
6  - days a week newspapers are printed
3,000 - Cost per week of daily newspaper reading
12,000 Cost per month of daily newspaper reading

Sounds about in-line with the NSO statstics. Further that is a healthy consumption of news, despite the shrinkage.

More interesitng is breaking down the cigarette numbers. Let's put the following statistics together:

21,000 -  Monthly household cigarette spending (yes I rounded)
2,500 - Cost per pack of cigarettes (average)
20 - Number of cigarettes in each pack
56% - Male smoking rate according to a Johns Hopkins study sample (female rate is <5% so I will consider insignificant)
14.3 million - Households in Korea
14.8 million - Adult Males in Korea  (note: those over 16 minus those 15-19 (19 is the legal age to buy cigarettes)

So each household has 1 adult male (rounded down). Each household spends 21,000 won a month on tobacco. But only 56 of those households smoke. So if you distribute the money spent on tobacco in the non-smoking households to the smoking households, each smoker spends 37,500 won a month on cigarettes.

If you take the other information, you find the average smoker smokes 15 packs of cigarettes a month, or 300 cigarettes for a daily average 10 cigarettes. Does 10 a day sound right to you? I am inclined to believe this statistics checks out.

Why do I check these things? You never know with some statistics quoted about Korea. Check out my break down on Choco-pies and prositution statistics.


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