South Korea: No Smoking in Billiard Halls

Billiard Hall

The Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said that government wants to prohibit smoking in billiard halls and indoor golf driving ranges in 2015 as part of a public health promotion. Earlier there was announced about smoking ban in bars and restaurants.

A ministry official told that they are considering in 2015 to create small recreational facilities as non-smoking areas. They do include such sport facilities as gyms, billiard halls, swimming pools, golf driving ranges. However, there is no details on the timing.

According to the National Health Promotion Law, smoking is prohibited in recreational facilities which have more than 1,000 seats. Here the talk is about soccer fields and baseball parks.

The Ministry asked to modify the law so that it could include all types of recreational facilities as smoke-free areas. Anti-smoking activists told they are worried that people are exposed to secondhand smoke in gyms and billiard rooms. The new regulation allows to protect people from inhaling tobacco smoke and increase the number of smoke-free places.

In 2015, all pubs and restaurants of all sizes will become smoke-free in South Korea. Totally the smoking ban will touch 600,000 establishments throughout the country.  Establishments can create separate smoking rooms, which will have to be enclosed spaces with ventilation systems. However, eating and drinking will not be allowed in the smoking rooms.

The law includes regular cigarettes and also e-cigarettes. Those caught smoking will have to pay a fine of 100,000 won. Business owners will pay 1.7 million won ($1,543) for a first offence and even more foe every next offence.

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