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158 apartment complexes designated as no-smoking zones: health ministry

The number of apartment complexes designated as no-smoking zones reached 158 across the country in April, government data showed Thursday, amid a growing number of health-conscious people joining the anti-smoking campaign.

The law, which took effect Sept. 3, 2016, allows provincial governments to designate all or part of corridors, stairs and underground parking garages of apartments as no-smoking zones upon approval by at least half of the residents.

A file photo of an apartment building in Cheongju, North Chungchoeng Province, designated as a no-smoking zone. (Yonhap)
A file photo of an apartment building in Cheongju, North Chungchoeng Province, designated as a no-smoking zone. (Yonhap)

The total breaks down by region to 23 in Daejeon, 22 in Seoul, 17 in Gyeonggi Province, 16 in Incheon, 13 in Gyeongnam Province, 12 in Gwangju, and 11 each in Daegu and North Jeolla Province. Nine in South Jeolla Province, six in North Chungcheong Province, five in South Chungcheong Province, four each in Busan and Jeju, three in Ulsan and two in North Gyeongsang Province have also been declared off limits to smoking, according to the data by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Out of the total, 113 apartment complexes have designated all common places as no-smoking zones

Violators can be fined upwards of 100,000 won ($87) at present.

A ministry official said policymakers are revising the law to lower the fine to 50,000 won in September in consideration of the voluntary nature of the apartment building no-smoking zones. (Yonhap)

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