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What is Korea’s smoking age?


The smoking age in Korea is an important topic for both locals and tourists. Smoking is a common habit in Korea, and it is important to know what the legal age is. In this article, we will explore what the smoking age in Korea is and why it is important.

History of smoking age in Korea

Smoking has been a part of Korean culture for many years, but the legal age has changed over time. In 2019, the Korean government raised the smoking age from 19 to 20 years old. This decision was made to help reduce smoking rates among young people.

Current smoking laws in Korea

In addition to raising the smoking age, the Korean government has implemented other laws to discourage smoking. For example, smoking is not allowed in many public places, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are also designated smoking areas where smokers can go to smoke.

Penalties for underage smoking

If someone under the age of 20 is caught smoking in Korea, they can face penalties such as fines or community service. The penalties become more severe if they are caught repeatedly.

Risks of smoking

Smoking can have serious health consequences, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It is important for young people to understand the risks associated with smoking and make informed decisions about their health.

Alternatives to smoking

For those who want to quit smoking or avoid it altogether, there are many alternatives available. These include nicotine patches, gum, and e-cigarettes. It is important to choose a method that works best for each individual’s needs.

Cultural attitudes towards smoking

Although smoking rates have decreased in recent years, it is still a common habit in Korean culture. Many people see it as a way to relieve stress or socialize with friends. However, it is important to remember the health risks associated with smoking.

Impact on tourism

For tourists visiting Korea, it is important to know the smoking laws and customs. Many hotels and public places have designated smoking areas, and it is important to follow the rules and be respectful of others.

Efforts to reduce smoking rates

The Korean government has launched campaigns to help reduce smoking rates, including education programs and increased taxes on tobacco products. These efforts have helped decrease smoking rates among young people in recent years.

International smoking laws

Smoking laws vary by country, and it is important for travelers to research the laws before visiting a new destination. Some countries have stricter laws than others, and penalties can vary as well.


In conclusion, the smoking age in Korea is 20 years old. It is important for both locals and tourists to understand the laws and customs surrounding smoking in Korea. With continued efforts to reduce smoking rates, there is hope for a healthier future for all Koreans.

How common is smoking in Korea?

Various surveys have been conducted to determine the rate of smoking in South Korea. The World Health Organization’s 2017 report states that 49.8% of adult Korean males and 4.2% of adult Korean females were smokers in 2015.

What is Japan’s smoking age?

In Japan, individuals are considered legal adults at the age of 20, and it is against the law for anyone under this age to consume alcohol or tobacco products. It is important to note that it is never acceptable to pressure someone to drink or smoke, regardless of their age, as it can result in negative health and social outcomes.

What is the worlds youngest smoking age?

A child as young as two years old, from Tianjin city in China, has become the youngest smoker in the world at a time when smoking is considered socially unacceptable. The child, named Liangliang, was reportedly born with a hernia and unable to have surgery at such a young age, so he was introduced to smoking by his father. This is concerning and alarming behavior.

Is vape allowed in Korea?

It is legal to bring your vape to Korea and there are varying opinions on the matter. However, many believe that E-juice is more costly in Korea, so some individuals opt to bring their own supply.

Is smoking a big thing in Korea?

Smoking rates have significantly decreased compared to previous years. However, South Korea still has a high rate of smokers. Implementing tobacco control measures may be a way to discourage smoking and promote the idea that smoking is socially unacceptable in public areas.

Which country is lowest by smoking?

The countries with the lowest percentage of smokers are Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Luxembourg. Among these countries, Sweden has the lowest smoking rate in Europe, but has struggled to combat smoking for a long time. This information was reported on January 12, 2023.

Smoking cessation resources

For those who want to quit smoking, there are many resources available in Korea. The government offers free counseling and support services, and there are also private organizations that provide assistance. Additionally, many hospitals and healthcare centers offer smoking cessation programs and resources.

The role of education

Education plays an important role in reducing smoking rates among young people. By educating students about the risks of smoking and providing them with tools to resist peer pressure, schools can help prevent young people from starting smoking in the first place. It is important for parents, teachers, and healthcare providers to work together to promote healthy habits among young people.

The impact of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke is a serious health concern that affects not only smokers but also those around them. In Korea, there are laws in place to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke, but it is still a common issue in public places. It is important for smokers to be considerate of those around them and to avoid smoking in areas where it is prohibited.

The importance of social norms

Social norms play a powerful role in shaping behavior, including smoking habits. By promoting a culture where smoking is not seen as cool or socially acceptable, we can help reduce the number of people who start smoking in the first place. This requires a collective effort from individuals, communities, and government entities.


In conclusion, reducing smoking rates in Korea requires a multi-faceted approach that includes education, resources for quitting smoking, laws and regulations, and promoting social norms that discourage smoking. By working together, we can create a healthier future for all Koreans.

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