South Korean Law Requires Disclosure of Harmful Substances in Cigarettes

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South Korean Law Requires Disclosure of Harmful Substances in Cigarettes
A new law requiring the disclosure of harmful substances in cigarettes has been passed in the South Korean parliament.

According to a report by Newsis on October 6th, a bill requiring the disclosure of all harmful substances and their levels in cigarettes has recently been passed in the South Korean parliament. In addition to nicotine and tar, which are already publicly disclosed, the existing law now also calls for the disclosure of substances found in additives and emissions. This bill received a significantly high approval rate in the plenary vote, with 243 out of the 248 attending members of parliament voting in favor, while only 5 abstained.


Cigarette smoke contains a variety of carcinogens and harmful substances, estimated to be around 70 types in total, with a staggering amount of over 7000. However, current laws in South Korea only require the disclosure of nicotine and tar content, while other carcinogens like nicotine, benzene, and cadmium are merely listed without their respective quantities being made public. This makes it extremely difficult for consumers to obtain specific information regarding the content of harmful components in cigarette additives and emissions.


In the legislative process of this new bill, particular attention has been placed on the establishment of a national hazardous substance management system in developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. These countries have implemented an analysis and public disclosure system for the harmful components of major cigarettes, in order to safeguard citizens' right to information and choice. Consequently, lawmakers in South Korea have developed a bill to regulate the harmful effects of cigarettes, cigarette additives, and cigarette emissions.


A new bill has been introduced to define and regulate issues related to cigarettes, including cigarette additives, cigarette emissions, and the management of cigarette harm. The bill provides a legal framework for addressing these concerns. Additionally, the bill stipulates that the Minister of Health and Welfare and the Director of the Food and Drug Safety Agency should collaborate to develop and implement a basic plan for managing the harmful effects of cigarettes every five years.


In addition, the bill also requires the establishment of a Tobacco Harmfulness Management Policy Committee to deliberate on issues related to the management of the harmfulness of cigarettes. All cigarette manufacturers and distributors must conduct a biennial test on the harmful ingredients in the cigarettes they sell, and submit the test reports and other relevant materials to the director of the Food and Drug Safety Department.


The new bill also stipulates that cigarette companies that make false claims or submit fabricated test reports regarding harmful substances will face imprisonment for up to one year, or fines of up to 10 million Korean won. This new legislation applies to both traditional cigarettes containing tobacco leaves, as well as e-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquids.


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