Hi Simon and Martina, what is it like living as non-smokers in Korea?
Ooh, Interesting personal question!
Yes~ Because we are non-smokers in Korea
And we have strong stances against smoking.
Hey, listen. I know that sometimes when we do TL;DRs
we try to be peaceful and stuff like that
A whole lot of disclaimers and what not
But I don’t give a honey badger shit about smoking
because I hate smoking.
[S] Smoking sucks. [M] I have never smoked in my entire life
I’ve been like against it since I can’t even remember
Even as a five year old I used to scold strangers on the street
I was that annoying child
I just really hate smoking[S]WAS [M]Heeeeey
[S]Well I said “Was” [M]I have friends that smoke
And they know that I don’t like it. But I am not going to shoo them all day long
Just once. Very strongly. *demon voice*SO THEY NEVER FORGET IT
So as someone who was a big advocate of being a non-smoker
it was actually kind of a shock to move to South Korea
because Toronto was very much a non-smoking city
by the time we got older.
Right, you can’t even smoke under the awnings outside of shops now
Maybe things have gotten a lot stricter since the 5 years we have been gone
Yeah, it is possible. I mean I remember going to clubs
[old voices] I remember… [S]back when I was young….
I remember going dancing in clubs like “the Phoenix”
And people smoking inside the clubs and me not being able to breathe
But it has chanced totally since then.
So poin is Korea was a bit of a shock because smoking was EVERYWHERE!
When we first came here to Korea it was so ramped, that like
somebody asked on our TL;DR question “What is it like being a non-smoker in Korea”
and the easiest answer is: an obstacle course
Because everywhere you walked it would be people smoking,
you’d be in restaurants and people would be smoking
And you’re like grilling meat in a restaurant
and the dude beside you is just blowing their cigarette smoke all over your food
I mean, it was Everywhere.
Well no. It wasn’t in shopping malls.
Ok, there you go.
You couldn’t smoke in a shopping mall but you could smoke in a noreabang [karaoke room]
Which is like a tiny closet. And everything smelled like cigarette smoke
and it was really gross in taxis and… BLEEEEEEGH
Now we Was because as of December 2012 Korea put a ban on smoking inside restaurants and bars
And as of July 2013 they started applying a really big fine to restaurants
if they were allowing people smoke.
I think it’s like $5000 for a restaurant owners and a $100 for people.
I remember reading a stat that said that the law was implaced in 2003 or something
but it wasn’t really enforced that strictly.
But now we are actually starting to notice a big change in how infrequently people are smoking in restaurants.
So things are getting a lot better.
Now when it comes to the streets you still have people
blowing their dirty smoke into your face
You don’t have to add an adjective every time [M]Yeah I do
[S]Dirty and smelly smoke…
Listen, I’m just really against smoking because I think it’s totally unfair
You have the choice of having a filter
to filter out your cigarette smoke and then you
blow your full force 2nd hand smoke into my face.
That’s removing my choice.
I want to breath clean air, but you’ve taken it from me.
So you could be like: mmm, cigarette smoke. mmm clean air.
Just put a bag over your face as you’re doing it.
[M] That’s right! [S]And then tie up the bag when you’re done and just throw it away.
And there you go. You don’t have to effect us with your nastiness.
Yeah. It’s really gross.
So who is doing all the smoking?
Now according to the statistics that we’ve read supposedly 40% of Korean men smoke
while only 5% of Korean women smoke,
I’m a little bit skeptical about that 2nd statistic
because we mentioned in the previous TL;DR
That we noticed that a lot of women Do smoke in secret
So if you go to bars and then go to women’s washroom
Not that I’ve been, but Martina has been
She would notice a lot of people smoking in there in secret
to hide it from their boyfriends
They have ashtrays, they’ve even had lighters on a string
inside of the girls’ washrooms.
So I’m not sure how many of those girls actually admitted to smoking
When that statistic was somehow made.
Supposedly the reason why so many men smoke in Korea
is because they were non-smokers before they entered the military service
and during the 2 year military service most men admitted to becoming smokers
during that time period.
Seen some things, done some things
Haven’t seen my girlfriend in two years
Got my eyes on you Se7en
What’s actually gotten so bad with smoking in Korea
that Yonsei University did a whole study about smoking effects on guys
and 73% of men were suffering from lung cancer related illnesses because of smoking.
And supposedly smoking related health issues cost Korea
10bil dollars a year.
I know, right. [S] That’s A Lot.
So I think that nowadays people start to take smoking as an issue
So like in Canada, at leas, I’ve noticed that if you buy a cigarette pack
it has all those disgusting filthy pictures on it
It’s like 70% of the picture is what your mouth looks like
And at the bottom there’s the label “Marlboro”
And then they have a lot of anti-smoking commercials
and in school they try to push “don’t smoke”
Teachers enforce that. But I haven’t really
seen that in Korea.
Korea still has really pretty packaging on the cigarettes.
And if you go to convenience stores they are not only behind the countable, right at the cashier
they have the 3 display models.
Like Oooh look at the blue Magnum of cigarettes.
And it seems like every month I see “Oooh, it’s a new mint cigarette”
Or “It’s a mohito cigarette”
And at the same time supposedly buying cigarettes is really cheap in Korea
We actually spoke with people who said that they stopped smoking in America
because it’s so expensive, but in Korea since it’s only $2 a pack
they picked up the habit again just because it is so cheap.
Which is a really stupid fucking excuse if you ask me.
That’s right. And we just cursed you out for that.
Oh, it’s cheap I might as well die.
I might as well just poison myself more because it’s discount poison.
I can save money of my death bid.
Why are you doing a Russian accent?
One thing I’m going to say is:
I know we always get angry trolling people that show up on our page
being like “Screw you, this is not what it’s like in Korea”
But you just try to deny this. Ok?
Definitely a lot of people smoke here.
And the thing is that we live in Seoul.
And so Seoul had a different attitude than people who live in the country
Because you know people aren’t going around enforcing in the country side
So people are probably still smoking inside restaurants in the country.
I’d love to hear other people’s experiences that live outside of Seoul.
What’s it like? Is there a non-smoking ban or is it just something happening in the Seoul area?
Well there is also difference in different parts of Seoul.
I was speaking with somebody outside about smoking in Korea
and they said that the girls’ smoking in secret he doesn’t notice it that much in Hongdae
as much as he does in other parts of Seoul.
Because Hongdae is more of a liberal area.
I remember my co-teachers when I was teaching.
You didn’t really smoke in front of your elders
you didn’t really smoke in front of your principle.
But you might secretly smoke elsewhere.
So I guess it depends on the situation of etiquette in Korea.
Moral of the story is that you smoke cigarettes you’re going to get pregnant and then you die.
Wait… I have not dated people over smoking.
I have seriously been like: this could be my dream guy
and he’s like “I smoke”
And I’m like “Our relationship is over”
I’m with a non-smoker.
I’m glad that when I kiss you, you don’t taste like an ashtray.
Like a pickled anus.
Anyhow, if you want to know more about our thoughts about Kpop idols smoking
Trust me, we’ve seen it in person.
Make sure you click on the blog link right here.
And we’ll write more about that.
Seriously why would you smoke when you’re a singer.
Hey, hey,HEY! Save that for the blog. Save that for the blog.
So that’s it for this week’s TL;DR
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where we talk about why smoking sucks.
And we don’t hide our resentment towards smokers
We..um… shan’t be talking about this topic again.
It’s not that I won’t be friends with someone who smokes
I just won’t invite him to my home.
Or let them smoke in my car.
Or near me or my pets
We don’t have a car.
You know what I’m saying.
On our scooter.