Smokers will be slapped with a 100,000 won ($91) fine if caught smoking at major squares in central Seoul starting next month.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Tuesday it has designated Gwanghwamun, Cheonggye and Seoul Squares as no-smoking areas.
The capital will dispatch patrol teams to the squares from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will use PDAs to issue tickets on the spot to those caught taking a drag.
Seoul also plans to expand the ban to 21 regional parks from September and 295 center-lane bus stops from December.
Starting next year, the officials plan to impose the smoking ban at 5,715 bus stops along pedestrian roads, 1,024 neighborhood parks and zones within a 50-meter radius of schools. Smokers caught in places other than the squares will also be fined 100,000 won.
Seoul promulgated a decree on March 1 to designate central Seoul squares as non-smoking areas.
“We ask for the public’s cooperation, as the smoking ban in designated public places is for the happiness and health of Seoul citizens,” said a city official.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org