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What Age Can u smoke in Korea?

What Age Can u Smoke in Korea?

South Korea has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, and smoking is a significant part of Korean culture. However, there are laws that regulate smoking in the country, including age restrictions. In this article, we will discuss the legal smoking age in Korea and other related regulations.

The Legal Smoking Age in Korea

In South Korea, the legal smoking age is 19. This means that people under the age of 19 are prohibited from buying or smoking cigarettes. Any violation of this law can result in fines or other legal consequences.

The Smoking Ban in Public Places

Korea also has a smoking ban in public places, which includes government buildings, schools, hospitals, and public transportation. It is also prohibited to smoke in restaurants with an area of less than 150 square meters. However, some establishments have designated smoking areas.

Penalties for Violating Smoking Regulations

If you violate any of the smoking regulations in Korea, you may face penalties such as fines or imprisonment. The amount of the fine varies depending on the severity of the offense and can range from KRW 100,000 to KRW 5 million.

The Impact of Smoking on Health

Smoking is harmful to health and can lead to various diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In Korea, smoking-related illnesses are a significant cause of death.

Tobacco Advertising Restrictions

In Korea, tobacco advertising is regulated by law. Tobacco companies are not allowed to advertise their products on television or radio. They can only advertise on billboards and in magazines with adult readership.

The Cost of Cigarettes in Korea

The cost of cigarettes in Korea is relatively low compared to other countries, but it has been increasing over the years. As of 2021, a pack of cigarettes costs around KRW 4,500.

Smoking Cessation Programs in Korea

Korea has smoking cessation programs that aim to help people quit smoking. These programs include counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and medication.

Anti-Smoking Campaigns

The Korean government has launched several anti-smoking campaigns over the years to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking. These campaigns use various media platforms such as television, radio, and social media.

The Smoking Culture in Korea

Smoking is deeply ingrained in Korean culture, and it is often seen as a way to socialize and build relationships. However, there is a growing awareness of the health risks associated with smoking, and many people are trying to quit smoking.

The Future of Smoking Regulations in Korea

Korea has been implementing stricter smoking regulations over the years, and it is expected that these regulations will become even more stringent in the future. The government is also considering increasing taxes on tobacco products to discourage people from smoking.


In conclusion, the legal smoking age in Korea is 19, and there are strict regulations on smoking in public places. Violators may face penalties such as fines or imprisonment. While smoking is deeply ingrained in Korean culture, there is a growing awareness of the health risks associated with smoking. The Korean government has launched several anti-smoking campaigns and smoking cessation programs to help people quit smoking. It is expected that smoking regulations in Korea will continue to become stricter in the future.

Can minors smoke in Korea?

In South Korea, e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are labeled as tobacco products and cannot be sold to individuals under the age of 19.

Can I drink in Korea if I’m 18?

In South Korea, individuals must be at least 19 years old to legally consume alcoholic beverages.

Is it legal to smoke in Korea?

Smoking is not allowed and is strictly prohibited in specific establishments under Nationwide regulations. These include office buildings, multi-use facilities, and factories that are larger than 1,000 square meters in floor area. In these premises, smoking is not permitted in areas such as offices, conference rooms, auditoriums, and lobbies.

Is it legal to vape in Korea?

It is legal to bring your vape to Korea and while opinions vary, most people agree that E-juice is pricier in Korea, leading some to bring their own supply.

Can you smoke on street in Seoul?

Yes, it is illegal to smoke in public and can result in a fine. Interestingly, South Koreans rank among the highest in smoking rates compared to other member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with approximately 31% of the population over the age of 15 being smokers.

Are there vapes in South Korea?

In Korea, purchasing vapes or e-cigarettes is usually done through private retail shops that sell their own brand of e-liquids and a range of other brand products.

Despite the strict smoking regulations in Korea, the country still has one of the highest smoking rates in the world. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2019, 25.9% of adults in Korea smoke. This is a decrease from previous years, but it still shows that smoking is a prevalent habit in the country.

The government has been implementing various measures to reduce smoking rates, such as increasing taxes on tobacco products and expanding smoking cessation programs. However, some critics argue that these measures are not enough and that more drastic actions should be taken to tackle the issue.

One proposal is to completely ban smoking in public places, including outdoor areas such as parks and sidewalks. This would be a significant step towards reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and creating a healthier environment for everyone.

Another proposal is to increase the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 or even 25. This would align with recent trends in other countries, such as the United States, where several states have raised the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21.

Ultimately, reducing smoking rates requires not only stricter regulations but also a change in societal attitudes towards smoking. It will take time and effort to shift the cultural perception of smoking in Korea, but with continued efforts from the government and society as a whole, it is possible to create a healthier future for all.

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