This week BBC News Online has covered a South Korean Health Ministry campaign. The latest health campaign to hit Korean tv screens is their Smoking is a Disease campaign.

The 44-second infomercial shows people at a cigarette kiosk, though instead of requesting a cigarette brand they instead ask for a serious health problem.

“Give me lung cancer.” One of them asks before the assistant gives them a pack of cigarettes. The cigarette packets themselves don’t feature the pictures we’re used to of diseased lungs, in this short video you can see the smokers themselves trapped inside, seemingly begging to get out.

A South Korean online community called I Love Smoking is angry at the Ministry’s campaign, as they have many other policies in the past.

A statement from the group claimed:

“The ministry’s video has clearly crossed the line, if smoking is a disease, drinking is a disease because it causes liver problems and eating fast food is also a disease as it brings about obesity. It is a jump of logic and discriminates against smokers.”

The group have called for the advert to be pulled, and is even planning to protest in front of the Ministry of Health, they’ve even called on the Korea Communications Standards Commission to remove the infomercial.

This campaign comes after an earlier infomercial being deemed ‘not strong enough’, the Ministry even warning that the new campaign could be ‘painful’ to some viewers.

Watch the Smoking is Disease campaign below.

Considering the UK runs SmokeFree campaigns such as Stop The Rot the latest South Korean campaign might not seem to extreme to us, but smoking in South Korea has long been less of a concern than here in the UK. Cigarette prices in South Korea were incredibly low until a doubling in price in January alongside a smoking ban being rolled out for all eateries. 44% of men in South Korea are smokers, and smoking is one of the Government’s current top health and social priorities.

via: BBC News from Elsewhere


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