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South Korea extends smoking ban to pool halls, other indoor sports facilities

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

Smoking

Frenchies mock proposed ban on smoking in films

gerard depardeau smoking
A proposal that France should ban the cigarette from the silver screen has been met with widespread derision and mockery among the French.

French cinema is full of images of stars like Brigitte Bardot and Gerard Depardieu delivering cool lines with a cigarette perfectly poised in one hand.

But all that could be about to end if Senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais gets her way after she reignited the debate over whether smoking should be shown on the big screen.

The film-making industry in France has long been accused of "normalizing" smoking and Grelet-Certenais said the industry is practically "advertising for the consumption of tobacco".

Smoking

UK cigarette prices could jump for the second time in a year

smoking
© Getty Images
Around ten million adults in the UK are smokers - in spite of the ever increasing cost.
Speculation has mounted about whether the cost of cigarettes is set to increase for a second time in a year in Wednesday's Budget.

Since the Chancellor already announced an increase in the price of cigarettes in March, the UK's 10 million smokers are hoping to be spared another hike, which could push the cost of the average pack to over £10.

This week's Budget is unusual in that it will be the second one this year - which normally only happens when there is a change of government. Philip Hammond effectively gets a second bite of the cherry with the nation's finances, because last year he announced the 2017 Autumn Statement would become an Autumn Budget, with a much smaller "Spring Statement" next year.

Tobacco is subject to an automatic, annual increase in duty of two per cent above the rate of inflation, with the average cost of 20 cigarettes standing at £9.91 in March after the spring budget slapped an extra 35p on a pack.

Laptop

Violators of Beijing smoking ban are being reported using social media app WeChat

Smoker in Bejing, China
© City Lab
An increasing number of reports related to smoking in indoor public places have been made on China's popular social networking app WeChat.

Beijing Tobacco Control Association said its official account on WeChat, "Smoke-Free Beijing" received 2,717 reports from August to October.

It said an average of 900 reports have been received every month, with an increase of 50 percent compared with that of the second quarter of the year. The complaints were mainly concerning restaurants, office buildings and Internet cafes.

Smoking controls have made some progress in the city, said the association, adding that medical institutions, schools and hotels have seen greater improvement among other indoor public places.

Smoking

South Africa drafts legislation to ban smoking in all public places

Tobacco smoke
© Pixabay/realhardwork
You may not light up at the bar. You may not light up near your car. And you can't start smoking on designated floors... You cannot even smoke indoors.

These are effectively the proposals being set out by the Department of Health. But they have been less 'Dr Seuss' about it than us. Their draft legislation aims to prohibit smoking in all public areas, whether that's indoors our outside.

Draft legislation plans to ban smoking in all public places

Designated smoking areas would be consigned to the history books, should this bill become ratified in Parliament. It's all part of the government's wider war on cigarettes, which also features plans to ban the display of smokes at retailers, and to remove all recognisable branding from cigarette packs.

Crusader

'Addio' holy smokes: Vatican bans sale of cigarettes

Man smoking
© Reuters/Laszlo Balogh (file photo)
Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

"The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people," spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Smoking

Israel's Health Ministry to ban smoking at outdoor events, other public places

Man smoking a cigarette
© Haaretz
The Health Ministry is seeking to expand the ban on smoking in public places to several currently exempted venues, including outdoor events, sports fields and playgrounds.

The rules have been submitted to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee and will take effect once the committee approves them.

Aside from the ban on smoking at open-air events, which tend to be very crowded, the new rules would also ban smoking everywhere in hospitals - though they do allow hospital directors to designate certain areas as smoking areas.

Smoking

Anti-smoking hysteria: Australian mother calls on gov't to ban smoking around children, labels it child abuse

Person smoking in a car
© Getty Images
A Sydney mother is calling on the NSW government to issue a total ban on smoking around children, labelling it as child abuse.

Nina Belle said she was driving along Old Northern Road in Castle Hill when she saw three adults smoking alongside a toddler in a pram, with the smoke "blowing in the poor child's face".

Left in an absolute rage by what she saw, the young mum started a petition, calling on the state government to take action.

She is calling on those parents who do smoke around their children to be fined and given "ample education and support to quit, including counselling".

"I believe exposing babies and children to ongoing passive smoke is a form of child abuse. This view might sound outrageous, but it's not," Ms Belle wrote in her petition.


Comment: There isn't much (if any) real scientific evidence for second-hand smoking causing any health issues.


"We intervene when children are neglected due to alcohol or drug addictions, and we should intervene when children are exposed to ongoing second-hand smoke.

Comment: See also:


Smoking

Japanese firm gives six days off to resentful, non-smoking employees

smoke break
A Japanese company is granting non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid holidays a year after they complained that they were working more than staff who took time off for cigarette breaks.

Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. only introduced the non-smokers' perk in September, but employees have been quick to take advantage.

"One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems", said Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company.

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate", Mr Matsushma told The Telegraph.

Comment: The joke is on them. Smoking actually increases brain function and work productivity. Also see: The totalitarian crusade against second-hand smoke


Smoking

More Japanese firms introducing anti-smoking measures

Japan firms anti-smoking measures
© Kyodo
Employees of Sompo Japan Nippon Kowa Himawari Life Insurance Inc. chat Oct. 19 in a lounge that was converted from a smoking room in line with the company's smoking ban at all of its business outlets.
An increasing number of Japanese companies are stepping up efforts to protect employees from the health hazard of smoking at a time when the central and local governments are studying measures to curb the public's exposure to secondhand smoke.

Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. introduced an all-day ban on smoking at its head office and all regional offices in June, with an eye toward lowering the ratio of smokers to its entire workforce by around 10 percentage points in fiscal 2018 from 33 percent in fiscal 2016.

The ban applies to some 4,500 employees during work hours including when they are out of the office. Sales clerks of Lawson convenience stores, operating under franchising contracts with the retail chain, and workers of Lawson subsidiaries are not subject to the step.