May 02, 2011 12:00
Smokers will be fined from July or August if caught lighting up in non-smoking zones. The highest fines are for smoking in facilities for children, schools and hospitals, where the inhalation of second-hand smoke is thought to be particularly harmful.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare is to work out a draft enforcement decree to a relevant law that designates various public facilities as non-smoking areas. They include Internet cafes, billiard halls and restaurants.
Detailed guidelines for fines remain to be worked out, but they will range from W20,000 (US$1=W1,069) to W100,000 depending on the location.
Smoking in smoke-free zones has been an offense punishable with a fine since last August, but absent detailed guidelines police have fined violators about W20,000-30,000 under the law governing minor offenses.
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