Restaurants to become smoke-free
By Kim Bo-eun
All restaurants will be smoke-free by 2015 on a gradual basis in an effort to reduce the nation’s smoking rate.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday that it has finalized a draft revision to anti-smoking rules to effectively regulate smoking according to restaurant size.
According to the changed rules, restaurants and bakeries larger than 150 square meters will have a complete ban on smoking starting Dec. 8. Currently, for restaurants in this size category, half of the area is required to be designated as non-smoking areas.
Restaurants larger in size than 100 square meters will be smoke-free from 2014. In 2015 a total ban will be imposed on all eateries, regardless of size.
Currently there are some 76,000 restaurants larger than 150 square meters, some 77,000 that are between 100 and 150 square meters, and 528,000 restaurants smaller than 100 square meters.