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南韓菸槍終於感受到壓力( 聯合晚報 )

發佈日期: 2012-05-25

After decades of indifference, big businesses and the government are turning up the heat on smokers in South Korea, a nation with one of the developed world’s highest male smoking rates.

Some firms are pressing workers to kick the habit or miss out on promotion and the health ministry will toughen warnings on cigarette packs.

Seoul council plans eventually to make one fifth of the city’s total area smoke-free. Even the military is getting in on the act: army draftees undergoing basic training will get advice from a clinic on ways to quit.

But successive national governments - fearful of an electoral backlash - have held back from raising the tax on cigarettes.

Some 44.3 percent of South Korean men smoked in 2009, according to the latest available data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This compares to an average among all member nations of 26.5 percent for men.