S Korea military gives K-pop band anti-smoking mission

Lovelyz at the event announcing them as anti-smoking ambassadors Image copyright YONHAP/EPA
Image caption New recruits: The defence ministry is hoping it can benefit from the power of K-pop

South Korea's defence ministry has enlisted the help of a K-pop girl band to encourage soldiers to quit smoking.

Eight-piece group Lovelyz are now anti-smoking ambassadors for the military, which is on a drive to slash smoking rates in its ranks by 30%, the Korea Herald's K-pop site reports.

The women will feature on calendars which will hang in barracks next year, and they'll be getting their own talk show on a military TV channel to spread the message, too. Soldiers who manage to kick the habit will be invited on to the programme for a chat, the report says.

There's an extra bonus for those at the army's Nonsan training centre, where Lovelyz will act as personal K-pop counsellors, the widely read Allkpop website says. And for the unit which sees the most soldiers quit smoking, the group will put on a special end-of-year show to celebrate.

Recruiting pop stars is the defence's ministry's latest tactic in its campaign to cut tobacco use. In May, it announced a range of rewards for soldiers who quit smoking, from cash prizes to leisure equipment for barracks. The ministry says around 40% of soldiers smoke, and many light up more often after joining the military. According to the OECD, male smoking rates in South Korea are amongst the highest in the developed world.

Image copyright Focusnews
Image caption K-pop salute: Lovelyz performed for soldiers during a ceremony at Seoul's defence ministry on Tuesday

Next story: Norway party proposes pest-hunting 'slug hour'

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

Related Topics