March 22, 2023

North Korea ramps up anti-smoking campaign while Kim Jong Un puffs away

State media has covered smoking prevention efforts several times recently, but the DPRK leader can't kick the habit

While Kim Jong Un regularly takes a drag of his cigarette in front of state cameras, North Korea is investing even more in its public health campaign to curb smoking — state media highlighted several ongoing projects at the DPRK’s “smoking cessation research center” on Friday.

According to North Korea’s state-run Arirang Meari, the research center (금연연구보급소) analyzes data and compiles anti-smoking trends from around the world. It scrapes the globe for what works, then takes that information and makes it public to North Korean citizens — for example, the government claims it opened an online campaign site on the country's intranet called “No Smoking 1.0” last July.