Famous car maker Hyundai from South Korea has declared recently that it will replace cigarette lighter sockets with USB power points in cars made for home market. The decision would touch all SUVs and passenger cars sold in Korea from October.
The decision is based on the results of a survey conducted in Korea which showed that a lot of car drivers used the lighter jack to charge cell phones or tablet computers rather than for lighting cigarettes. Hyundai representatives say that the company is the first one in the world to make the change, and in future it would perform surveys in other countries in order to see driver’s opinions about car lighters.
In many countries smoking has fallen out of fashion these days, with health restrictions and high prices meaning that more and more people are refusing from smoking. Though smoking rate in South Korea is similar to other developed countries (22.9% in 2010 compared to the OECD average of 21.4%), male smokers are among the highest in the OECD ar 40.8%.
In South Korea there was introduced smoking ban in public places in July current year, with fines of 100,000 won ($93) for any spotted smoker and up to 5 million won ($4650) for stores owners who violate the law.
Since December 2012, smoking has been ctotally prohibited in restaurants and bars larger than 150 square metres, and also in cafes, schools, hospitals, theatres, government buildings, universities, libraries, private academies, train stations, shopping malls, and large hotels.
The anti-smoking law will extend to restaurants and bars larger than 100 square meters and internet cafes from January 2014. South Korea will totally ban smoking on all bars, restaurants and cafes despite of size from January 2015.
Hyundai representatives said that the changes would not touch its in-car ashtrays and smokers can acquire a USB-powered cigarette lighter if they want.