South Korea - remote island going smoke-free, car-free and night lights-free..

December 27, 2009 - The South Korean government has given the ‘green light’ to transform the remote Jeung Island in South Jeolla province as a smoke-free, car-free and night lights-free village.

The 28.16 square-kilometer (10.87 square-mile) island with 857 households is already a popular tourist destination. This year alone, 250,000 tourists visited the island, which has the largest salt pan in the nation.

Aiming to provide its people with a nostalgic rest while protecting its natural environment, Jeung Island of Sinan County, South Jeolla province, is challenging itself to become the “Slow City” where there is no pollution. The island was designated in December 2007 by the International Slow Food Movement as a slow city.

In order to transform itself further to meet the definition of a slow city, the island has been campaigning to prohibit smoking. In order to transform itself further to meet the definition of a slow city, the island has been campaigning to prohibit smoking. There were only about 150 smokers on the island. However, 35 of them had already quit with the help from the public health care staff who have been running clinics in 11 villages.

Determined to drop its smoking rate from the 8.6 percent measured last July to zero by next spring, the county government also plans to request tourists to douse their cigarettes. To do so, the county already removed three stores selling cigarettes and is currently trying to persuade the other four to leave. The county’s local legislative council recently passed a bill restricting cigarette sales and designating the island as the “clean air zone.”

Aware of the growing demand for more environment-friendly policies, Jeung Island has also banned chemical detergents.

Reference: Island barring smoking, cars, lights, JoongAngDaily. 12/28/2009.

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remote island