SOUTH KOREA: WORLD CUP SOCCER ORGANISERS CRITISE SOUTH KOREAN COMPANY FOR LAUNCHING BRAND OF WORLD CUP CIGARETTES
- Title: SOUTH KOREA: WORLD CUP SOCCER ORGANISERS CRITISE SOUTH KOREAN COMPANY FOR LAUNCHING BRAND OF WORLD CUP CIGARETTES
- Date: 3rd April 2002
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SMOKING
- Reuters ID: LVA5Z8IPFXIU5LUTP3FAS2TDH5K0
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Duration: 00:00:13
- Topics: Business,General,Health,Sports
- Story Text: World Cup organisers and health officials in South Korea have slammed the launch of a new World Cup cigarette which undermines the campaign to make the upcoming finals a smoke-free event.
South Korea's tobacco monopoly has unveiled 10 million packs of the so-called World Cup cigaretes or Time 2002, featuring 10 different soccer action pictures and 10 pictures of Korean traditional dances.
The limited World Cup version of Korea's popular Time brand sell for 1,800 won ($1.37) each until the end of the final match on June 30.
The state-run company said they released the new pack of cigarettes to promote the soccer event and to introduce Korean culture worldwide.
"We introduced the new cigarette packs with designs inspired by Korea's beautiful traditional dance and the dynamic game of soccer to appeal to the consumers ahead of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals," said Chang Won-shik, Branch manager of Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corp. He added people's interest in the new packs is explosive.
Korea Tobacco is 33 percent owned by the government and is scheduled to be sold off later this year.
The new cigarettes have angered the country's Ministry of Health and World Cup organisers who were working together to promote a "smoke free" games.
Korea Tobacco maintains that it has not broken any laws because it does not use World Cup logos reserved for sponsoring companies.
"We have examined the issue but have found no legal problems. And I think the cigarettes will be a success," said Chang.
This sentiment was echoed by a cigarette purchaser who had just bought a pack of cigarettes.
"I think it will be a good promotional campaign to foreigners. And I think the design is good. It caught my eye,"
said 42-year-old Hong Cheol.
The Korean Organising Committee for the finals (KOWOC) said world governing body FIFA has not formally taken a position on the World Cup packs.
South Korea is the eighth largest cigarette market in the world and 13 million out of its 47 million people smoke.
Smoking will be restricted in World Cup stadia, while soccer fans are limited to one cup per match of Budweiser beer, an official sponsor.
The 2002 World Cup finals to be co-hosted by South Korea and Japan will kick off on May 31 and last until June 30.
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