Korea – South: Nine out of 10 Seoulites Suffer from Passive Smoking

Nearly nine out of every 10 Seoul residents are exposed to secondhand smoking everyday with the time of exposure reaching more than 7 minutes, a poll showed Monday.

According to the survey of 1,000 Seoul residents taken by the municipal government in January, 88.6 percent of the respondents said that they were exposed to passive smoking about once a day.

Seoulites cited streets and pubs as the places where they are most exposed to passive smoking, followed by bus stops, restaurants and the entrances or stairs of buildings, according to the survey.

Residents said they were exposed to passive smoking for an average of 7 minutes and 30 seconds a day, down from 12 minutes and 54 seconds in the same poll a year ago.

The respondents cited smoking among adolescents as the most serious social problem related to tobacco, followed by secondhand smoking. They added that children and pregnant women are the biggest victims of passive smoking.

The smoking rate of adults in Seoul stood at 21.7 percent as of 2013, down from 24.2 percent in 2008, the survey showed. Ninety percent of those surveyed said that they are in favor of expanded smoking bans in the capital.

The Seoul city government has designated key public spaces like plazas, parks and bus stops as smoking-free zones since March 2011 in a bid to wipe out passive smoking. Enditem