South Korean anti-smoking activists ask Constitutional Court to ban all tobacco sales

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : Febuary 2, 2012, 14:08 | Updated : Febuary 2, 2012, 14:08
On Wednesday, a group of seven anti -smoking activists asked South Korea’s Constitutional Court to completely ban the sale of tobacco products in the country.

They claimed that a constitutional “right to health” should render invalid any law permitting tobacco-related commerce. In March 11, South Korea’s Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs Ministry banned smoking in 16 kinds of public places in order to try and bring down the male smoking rate of 47 percent to 20.

These places included buildings, hotels, schools and more. The argument is the first attempt to entirely ban the manufacture and sale tobacco products.

The decisions in the Korean Constitutional Court cannot be appealed because it is the last resort for disputes.

The petitioners said that it was the government’s responsibility to prtect its people form unhealthy products. “The right to health, guaranteed by the Constitution, means the government not only has the duty not to harm people’s health but also is responsible for making and implementing policy for people’s health,” the group said in the petition, according to a partial translation published by the Korea Times.



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