Some smokers are puffing away on cigarettes without concern to others around them. But, many non-smokers feel it is so rude and harmful to be subjected to this harmful second hand smoke. For this reason, our government prohibited smoking in several indoor places. For example, the Ministry of Health and Welfare made public places, such as internet cafes, restaurants, and bars as non-smoking area. Also, it is prohibited to smoke on the balcony and bathroom of one’s own apartment if other residents request it. Moreover, many local governments have designated other non-smoking areas within their city. For instance, many local administrations have designated non-smoking areas within 10 meters from kindergartens, subway stations, bus stations, etc. But what about outdoor places? There has been no clear regulation on outdoor smoking, so we can easily see people smoking on the streets. Perhaps this act could, or should, be restricted by law.
Have you heard of a law to “ban smoking while walking?” This law is to prohibit smoking on the streets. Responses from citizens have been on two sides. Most non-smokers think that it is good because there have been lots of conflict between smokers on the streets and non-smokers. The others, who smoke, think they are being excessively regulated due to these rules and also steep taxes included in the price of cigarettes. As such, they maintain that they have a right to smoke, but the government has not improved the regulations. There are only restrictions about cigarettes. In fact, though the tax collected on cigarettes is over ten trillion annually, many smokers in Seoul feel they even have difficulty smoking in designated smoking zones, like smoking booths.
A promoter of this law, Hwang Joo-hong, a member of Party for Democracy and Peace, said “Many people want this law. 88 percent of people in Seoul responded to the survey and answered that the law of banning smoking while walking is needed.” He added, “Of course, this law doesn’t apply to the people who stopped for a short time to smoke. Literally, this regulation cracks down only on the people who smoke while walking on the streets. As this law has a feature of ambiguity, after implementation of this law, it should be amended perfection of this law.”
A YU student expressed his own opinion about this law: “Many smokers may know that it is rude to have a cigarette around people who are walking on the street, so they usually smoke in secluded places like alleys. I don’t disagree with this law as a smoker. But I want the government to make complementary measures, such as the installation of a lot more smoking areas. It seems to me that unless smoking has a bad effect on non-smokers, smoking should not be considered bad.”
The law to ban smoking while walking has not been enacted in the legislation yet, but has just been put forth and attempted. Therefore, your attention and opinion to make this law is required.