SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korea Food & Drug Administration is set to introduce a new measure making public information about harmful tobacco ingredients in an effort to curb smoking in the country.
According to the Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) on Wednesday, the government branch is currently considering the means to require tobacco companies to submit data on ingredients they use, which they hope to disclose to the public, a measure that is expected to take effect in 2018.
The KFDA’s decision comes on the heels of criticism from the public over the lack of guidelines outlining ingredients used in tobacco products that can be harmful to one’s health, unlike in the U.S. and European countries where this type of disclosure is mandatory.
Along with the dissemination of information on toxic ingredients provided by tobacco companies, the KFDA plans to launch its own studies into the harmful effect of the ingredients, the findings of which they hope to disclose by 2019.
Formaldehyde in regular cigarettes and acrolein in e-cigarettes are among dozens of harmful ingredients, the effects of which will be looked into by South Korean health authorities in the near future.
Standards capping the maximum quantities of harmful ingredients such as nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide will also be set as part of the KFDA’s new regulatory efforts to make the negative impact of smoking more widely known to the general South Korean public.
Currently, only information on tar and nicotine must be displayed on cigarette packages produced in South Korea, despite a recommendation from the World Health Organization that tobacco companies provide further information on ingredients for the government to better educate the public, which has been made a requirement in places like the U.S. and Europe.
In the U.S., for instance, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act has forced tobacco companies to report ingredients and additives to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as findings from research conducted on their effects.
Previously in South Korea, calls for information disclosure grew among civic groups, politicians and the government but the efforts by some politicians to pass legislation didn’t come to fruition in the end, primarily due to strong opposition from the tobacco industry.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)