Light up at a gas station and get an $81 fine

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Light up at a gas station and get an $81 fine

In some parts of Seoul, smokers will pay 100,000 won ($81) for a single puff - if they ignore a no-smoking sign.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday that it will create an ordinance imposing a 100,000 won fine for people smoking in banned places such as school zones, parks, bus stops, playgrounds and gas stations.

The new measures will be enforced next year in an effort to curb second-hand smoke.

Ten councilors at the Health and Welfare Committee under the Seoul Metropolitan Council unanimously agreed to submit the bill to the council today.

If the Seoul government passes the bill at a plenary council on Oct. 19, the ordinance goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

“The National Assembly's bill promoting public health that passed in April required metropolitan governments and councils to designate banned smoking areas and come up with an ordinance that inflicts fines on violators,” said Cho Kyu-young, head of the committee.

“In respect of the National Assembly law, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to set the fine at 100,000 won.”

The city government will work together with the council to display warning signs in prohibited zones.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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