Smoking ban in public places announced

The government of South Korea will ban all indoor and outdoor smoking in public places starting in 2011 to substantially reduce the country's smoking rate, reported The Korea Times on Wednesday.

The ministry for health, welfare and family affairs said the move aims to bring down the smoking rate among men in the country from 47 percent at present to 20 percent in the target year.
Seoul has prohibited smoking in large buildings for several years but has not taken similar steps for outdoor smoking even in areas where large numbers of people gather.
The ministry added it will take measures to allow regional governments to implement anti-smoking policies to make it more difficult for people to smoke in public places, and push forward a concerted campaign at schools and military installations across the country to get people to stop buying cigarettes. It said posters and pictures highlighting the health risks associated with smoking will be placed on cigarette cases, with support to be offered to companies that implement programs to get workers to quit smoking. (sra)

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