• June 24, 2024

WHO calls for more bans

 WHO calls for more bans

Photo by InSapphoWeTrust

The World Health Organization has said that South Korea should adopt more stringent anti-tobacco regulations that ban cigarette smoking in public places and restrict tobacco advertising and promotions, according to a story in The Korea Herald.

In 2015, 39.3 percent of South Korean men and 5.5 percent of its women were smokers.

The Herald story said the WTO had been publishing the results of a project that every other year assessed a country’s efforts in various anti-tobacco activities.

According to the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, South Korea had not properly implemented policies on protecting the public from the effects of smoking, enforcing bans and raising taxes.

This criticism was made even though the government increased taxes on cigarettes by 2,000 won (US$1.70) per pack from January 1, 2015, a move that increased the price of a pack of cigarettes from about 2,500 won to 4,500 won.

The WTO calls on member states to ban smoking in all public places.

But while South Korea has been expanding non-smoking zones in public places for the past few years such measures have fallen short of legislating a far-reaching ban.

The WTO recommends also that member states ban all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco, whereas South Korea allows such activities in some instances.

Meanwhile, the government forced tobacco companies last year to include graphic warnings on their packs; and this year it introduced a new rule that requires the warnings to occupy more than 30 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs.