An article titled “Anti-smoking and our lives” was published on Meari, one of North Korea’s propaganda media websites, touting the nation’s anti-smoking activities, campaigns and research centres specialising in treatments to stop smoking, reports The Korea Herald.
Since passing an anti-smoking law on 4 November 2020 that bans smoking in public places, North Korea has frequently promoted its efforts through propaganda tools, as well as posting no-smoking signs and posters on streets and buildings, the report said.
Nicotine replacement therapies as well as dietary supplements were among the most used methods to help smokers quit in North Korea, the article said. One of the bestsellers, developed 10 years ago by the nation's anti-smoking research centre, is a supplement called "nutritious eggs". The white tablets, shaped like marbles, are made from natural herbs and claim to help people quit smoking while improving the body's immune functions, according to the report.
According to the World Health Organisation report, 37.3 per cent of North Korean men smoked in 2016, although other sources estimate that the actual figures are higher.
Despite the anti-smoking campaign, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is himself known as a heavy smoker, still frequently shows up in the media with his cigarettes.