S. Korea anti-smoking campaigners
© Ministry of Health & Welfare
Pool halls, screen golf studios and other indoor sports facilities are among popular leisure destinations for jaded urban dwellers to blow off some steam, often followed by a puff of cigarette.

However, these indoor sports and leisure facilities are going smoke-free under the new legislative ban that came into force Sunday.

With the latest amendment to the National Health Promotion Act, the smoking ban has been extended onto some 56,000 indoor sports and leisure facilities nationwide, including 21,980 pool halls and 9,222 indoor golf studios.

Lighting up in these facilities is now an offense carrying up to a 100,000 won ($92) fine

The new legislative ban accompanies signage requirements for the targeted facilities. Business owners can face up to a 5 million won fine if they fail to put no-smoking signs in such facilities.

The Health Ministry said on-site inspections of targeted facilities starts from Sunday, but for the first three months, the businesses will be given warnings rather than fines to allow for a grace period.

The Health Ministry has been extending the smoking ban through amendments to the National Health Promotion Act over the last few years, with a complete ban on smoking in all bars, restaurants and cafes since the beginning of 2015.