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North Korea Uses Women to Prevent Men from Smoking - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Seoul- North Korea, the communist state, used women in a TV show in order to urge men to quit smoking.

In the 40-minute public health program called “The Extra Quality Favorite Item Threatening Life,” smokers are warned of the side-effects of indulging in the activity, according to what Yonhap News Agency has reported.

In the video, a narrator from the TV station explained about the dangers of smoking, saying, “Today, our North Korean women do not smoke at all, so we have met many women to hear various opinions on smoking from them.”

Then 10 women appeared in sequence expressing their own thoughts about male smokers.

The first said she regards men who smoke as being senseless people who also lack a sound mind.

Another woman complained about smokers and said that male smokers should quit if women ask them to stop. She further complained, however, that most turn a deaf ear to such requests.

In the interview that followed, the female participants on the TV program strongly denounced men’s smoking habits.

People familiar with North Korea said that it is quite unusual for North Korean TV to publicly carry out an anti-tobacco campaign using women to get men to quit.

“This latest action can be seen as an expression of North Korea’s desperate effort to reduce the smoking rate for men, which is believed to be over 50 percent,” said Professor Chun Young-sun of Konkuk University in Seoul.

Reflecting this, the North’s main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, carried reports on the necessity of the nonsmoking movement on three different occasions in April and May.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also reported last week on a nonsmoking campaign, while the government has set up research centers across the country to get people to stop smoking.