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Non-smoking policy to be changed from December 8th

Source : Ministry of Health and Welfare

Non-smoking policy to be changed from December 8th this year

- Smoking in and outside government offices, the National Parliament, hospitals and libraries (including gardens) will be banned

– - Restaurants larger than 150㎡ will become non-smoking zones, and smoking at these restaurants will be completely banned –

< Non-smoking policy to be changed from December 8th this year >

□ Smoking at public facilities will be banned (Clause ④ under Article 9)

① Smoking at the National Parliament, judicial offices, public facilities for children and teenagers (youth training camps, playgrounds for children, etc.), and even gardens and parking lots within these buildings will be completely banned along with the current non-smoking areas.

- A smoking room can be operated only when it abides by the proper standards and methods stipulated in the enforcement regulations [Asterisk 2] of the National Health Promotion Law.

② Restaurants, bars, and cafes larger than 150㎡ will be completely smoke-free zones, and the smoking ban will be applied to all restaurants in 2015.

③ If these buildings are not designated as a smoke-free zone, owners will be fined 5 million won, and individuals who smoke in these zones will be fined 100,000 won.

□ Displaying flavors (menthol, coffee, etc.) on packaging will be banned. (Amendment 3 of Article 9)

① Displaying added flavors on commercials and packaging of tobacco products leaving the warehouse after December 8th will be prohibited.

② Tobacco manufactures violating this ban will be fined up to 5 million won.

□ Places authorized to install cigarette vending machines will be changed. (Clause ② under Article 9 of the law, Article 15 of enforcement regulations)

① As “smoking areas” will disappear, cigarette vending machines will only be allowed to be installed in “smoking rooms.”

② If a cigarette vending machine is installed in a non-designated location, a fine of up to five million won will be imposed.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on December 5th that the National Health Promotion Act (revised in 2011) will go into effect beginning December 8th in order to prevent the harmful effects of secondhand smoke in public facilities, and effectively decrease factors that can tempt teenagers to smoke.

Smoking zones allowed under the current smoking ban will disappear, and the new regulation will completely prohibit smoking in and even outside public facilities.

Also, displaying added flavors, such as a “fruit flavor (e.f. apple)” or a “cocktail flavor (e.g. mojito),” to make a product attractive, which could make teenagers curious about the taste, will be banned on packaging and commercials.

(Clauses ④ and ⑥ of Article 9)

** “Public facilities” with the law applied

Smoking will be prohibited in government offices including the National Parliament and courts, and public facilities for children and teenagers, as well as the current non-smoking areas such as large buildings shopping centers, and physical training facilities. Smoking will only be allowed in a smoking room within these places.

※ According to the law, the smoking ban will go into effect at internet cafes beginning June, 2013 (Article 1 of the Additional Provision).

- The current regulations require public facilities to operate non-smoking areas (offices, meeting rooms, corridors, restrooms, etc.) and smoking areas, but have been showing limited protection for non-smokers from cigarette smoke coming from smoking areas.

Particularly, medical institutions, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, kindergartens, and day-care centers have constantly called for non-smoking outside these buildings, such as near the entrance.

- Following the new smoking ban, smoking in parking lots, gardens, and school playgrounds within the fenced areas around these facilities, as well as indoors, will be banned, and smoking will only be allowed in a smoking room installed at a distance of no less than 10 meters from the entrances of these buildings.

- As the law was revised in 2011, this ban will be applied to youth training camps, libraries, and entertainment facilities for children.

Since the National Parliaments, courts, public offices, and provincial public companies, as well as offices of the central and local governments are classified as public facilities (following the rules on managing government offices), the entire site of these buildings will become non-smoking areas. (When there are previously specified related regulations, the rules will be determined by the existing regulations.)

- Considering that government offices are symbolic to the public, and they are public facilities for people from various walks of life, the ministry plans to recommend installing smoking rooms outside these buildings rather than indoors.

** Duties of facilities and business owners

The smoking ban stipulates that owners, occupants, and administrators (owners and the like hereafter) must hang up a warning sign, or attach a sticker as shown below, near the entrance to notify facility users that the entire building is non-smoking.

Please download the file to for more details.

Government press release (December 12)

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