Actor Choi Hyun Wook previously came under controversy after a video of him smoking on the streets of Seoul came up online. Rather than criticizing the star for holding hands with the girl next to him, netizens were more concerned about the fact that he seemed to be smoking illegally. As South Korea has designated smoking areas, Choi Hyun Wook should have retreated to one such area to indulge in his cigarette. In addition to this, he also illegally disposed of the cigarette butt on the ground.
South Korea designates that cigarette butts need to be properly disposed of in bins so as not to create litter on the streets. They may also pose a fire hazard if not put out properly. After Choi Hyun Wook’s video went viral, the Gangnam District Office took matters into its own hands. According to a representative of the office on October 12, 2023, there was sufficient media material to confirm that he violated certain laws, not having disposed of the cigarette butt in the proper manner. He “violated Article 8 Paragraph 1 of the Waste Management Act and was the payment of a fine was processed.”
After the video went viral, civil suits were submitted to the Gangnam District Office, where they ended up fining the star after an investigation. The fine for illegal disposal of cigarette butts, tissue, and other small waste is ₩50,000 KRW (about $37.40 USD). You can read more about the initial case below.