Smokers taking lead from leader

| May 20, 2016

Further light has been cast on a story earlier this month (see Fewer smokers in North Korea, May 5) that described how North Korea was adopting policies aimed at cutting smoking.

At the time, some doubt was cast on the story because the country’s revered leader Kim Jong Un had been frequently seen in public with a cigarette in his hand.

Now, a Yonhap News Agency report, quoting North Korean media stories, has suggested that Kim has not been seen with a cigarette for two months.

The report says that North Korea has launched a non-smoking campaign and set up facilities across the country to encourage people to stop smoking. In a story picked up in Seoul, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said non-smoking facilities had been established in provincial capitals and major cities and were in close touch with the Pyongyang-based Non-smoking Research Center.

Their action programs are said to include counselling, non-smoking health supplements recognized by the World Health Organization and medications for diseases caused by smoking.

The KCNA said that work was going on to develop ‘more tobacco substitutes’.

In an earlier story, the KCNA said the government had reduced the area of land planted to tobacco ‘as much as possible’, and that health warnings were required to be included on cigarette packs.

Category: Breaking News

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