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North Korea is trying to create a more cultured and hygienic living environment by pushing a new law on Nov. 5, 2020, that bans cigarette smoking in public. The Supreme People’s Assembly introduced the anti-smoking regulations to the public on Wednesday. They have a very high smoking rate. According to the World Health Organization, in 2019, 46 percent of men smoke, but women do not smoke.
The country has urged its people to quit for many years. They put signs on public buildings and started a website for antismoking. The tobacco-prohibition law was created to constrict legal and social control of tobacco products’ manufacture and sales. The laws restrict smoking on public transportation, such as theaters, health facilities, and restaurants.
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has been a smoker since he was a teenager. He became the nation’s supreme leader in 2011 after his father Kim Jong II at the age of 70. His father died from a heart attack. While he was in office, he also introduced an anti-smoking campaign. He stated:
The three greatest fools are those who can’t use computers, cant sing, and can’t stop smoking.
It has been reported that cigarettes have been used for bribing officials and used as a form of currency. A pack can cost up to $20. The country faces a number of health challenges, including chronic malnutrition and high infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The New York Times: North Korea Tells Its People to Stop Smoking. But What About Kim Jong-un?; by Choe Sang-Hun
UPI: North Korea bans smoking in public places to protect lives, health; by Thomas Maresca
The New York Post: North Korea seeks to prohibit smoking in some public spaces; by Joshua Rhett Miller
Featured Image Courtesy of Philippa Willitts’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of David Myers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License