Setting boundaries

South Korea’s health ministry said yesterday that tobacco smoking near day-care centers and kindergartens would be banned starting this week, according to a Yonhap News Agency story.
So, as of today, smoking within 10 meters of the country’s 390,000 day-care centers and 9,000 kindergartens will be prohibited.
Provincial governments have been ordered to notify smokers of the new regulations by putting up signs around these facilities.
The ministry said it would allow a grace period through March 30 to give people time to adjust to the changes.
Those who are found to have broken the law will be liable to a fine of 100,000 won (US$89), presumably only after March 30.
Meanwhile, tougher regulations will be applied also to ‘smoking cafés’, where people have previously been allowed to smoke because the facilities have been registered as vending-machine outlets rather than cafés.
Under the new regulations, such facilities will be designated smoke-free starting in 2019.
The owners must notify customers that their facilities are smoke-free zones, though the owners will be allowed to install rooms with separate ventilation systems if they want still to attract smoking customers.
Again, the ministry said it would allow a period of grace until March 30 to give more time for people to make the necessary changes.