Hyundai recently announced that this decision would affect all passenger cars and SUVs sold in South Korea starting as early as this October 2013. Their executive decision comes after a domestic survey shows that many drivers used the standard lighter jack to charge mobile smartphones, or tablet computers far more than fro lighting cigarettes. A spokesman for Hyundai stated that the corporation was “the first automotive company in the world” to make the switch, and that the company would survey consumers in other countries to see whether it should be adopted elsewhere.
Smoking has fallen well out of fashion in many countries other than South Korea, with health concerns, taxation, and rising costs meaning that fewer and fewer people are lighting up. Although smoking in South Korea is very similar to other developed countries (with a smoking rate of 23% in 2010 as compared to the OECD average of 21%) male smoking is among the highest in the OECD at 41%. South Korea enforced strict smoking bans in public places from July 2013, with fines of 100,000 won on any spotted smoker and up to 5 million won on shop owners not following the law.
Since December 2012, smoking has been completely prohibited in bars and restaurants larger than 150 square meters, cafes, government buildings, schools, universities, hospitals, libraries, children’s playgrounds, private academies, subway or train stations, theaters, department stores or shopping malls, large hotels and highway rest areas. The law will extend to bars and restaurants larger than 100 square meters and internet cafes from January 2014. South Korea will completely ban smoking on all bars, restaurants and cafes regardless of size from January 2015. Hyundai said its in-car ashtrays will remain the same and smokers can buy a USB-powered cigarette lighter if they wish.