OKCHEON, Jan.25 (Korea Bizwire) – Kang (62), who lives in a small village in Okcheon, says he has to sneak around when he has to smoke.
Smoking in the streets is unthinkable, and even at home Kang has to put out his cigarette when he hears someone coming.
Residents of the village Kang is living in declared that it will be a ‘Village without Cigarettes’, and all of the smoking residents quit smoking in January 2015.
A total of 23 smokers including Kang agreed to quit smoking. Banners encouraging the residents to quit smoking were hung all over the village, and lighters and ashtrays in public areas were removed. Under an agreement with a store owner, a cigarette vending machine was also taken away. All the means that created a smoking-friendly environment were gone.
For the next six months, authorities of the Ministry of Health visited every week to manage a clinic that helps the residents to quit smoking.
After a year, it was impossible to find residents smoking openly in public areas.
Even though four people including Kang failed to quit, it became difficult for them to smoke in public.
Unlike Kang, 19 people out of 23 who quit smoking last year have yet to take up the habit again, leaving the town with an impressive 82.6 success rate.
The results are far more impressive considering that a similar clinic at the medical center in Okcheon had a 38.1 percent success rate.
Kim (54), who lead the village residents to quit smoking, commented that the air indoors became cleaner and fresher once everyone stopped smoking. He mentioned that cigarette butts are no longer seen, and women who were bothered by the cigarette smoke are happier.
The four people who failed to quit smoking, including Kang, have decided to try to quit smoking again.
Although they failed to completely quit, Kang commented that he is smoking less than half of what he used to smoke.
By M.H.Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)