The sale and consumption of alcohol may be banned on university campuses, while new graphic health warnings may appear on cigarette packages.
Also, cigarette labels with “light,” “mild” or “low tar” may be banned, along with any TV advertisements featuring models consuming alcoholic beverages.
These are the highlights of a proposed law unveiled by the Health Ministry on Thursday.
The agency, unveiling the draft amendment of the National Health Promotion Law, said it aims to toughen the country’s policies on alcohol and tobacco up to the levels seen in some Western countries.
“If the proposed revision is enacted, Korea comes to comply with most of the World Health Organization’s recommendations on tobacco,” it said in a press release, referring to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Korea signed the treaty in 2005.
“It also reflects the growing public concern over excessive alcohol consumption in Korea.”
The ministry plans to solicit opinions from experts and the general public on the proposed changes until November and submit the legislative bill to the parliament.
It hoped that the law will glide through the National Assembly smoothly and come into effect as early as April next year.
Under the unveiled draft, the sale of alcohol will be banned on campus, except special-purpose facilities such as alumni buildings which are often used for weddings.
The ban also applies to medical facilities and youth facilities, with exceptions given to funeral halls and youth hostels.
Provincial authorities may choose to add beaches, parks and other public places to the list of alcohol-free zones.
Tougher regulations are planned for alcohol advertisements, too.
Presently, only territorial broadcasting, cable TV and radio stations are subject to a ban that is applied from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.
The new bill would include new media, such as digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and the Internet, to be subject to the ban.
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)