South Korea prohibits the sale of coffee in its schools

Students and teachers in South Korea will have to look for alternative ways to be awake during school hours after the government decided on Friday to ban the sale of coffee in schools.

The sale of high-caffeine beverages to schoolchildren has been banned since 2013, but with the availability of coffee vending machines for teachers, some students have been able to circumvent the system and satisfy their need for coffee.

The South Korean government now wants to rule out any way for children to buy high-caffeine drinks on campus, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said, warning that students eat caffeine to watch late at night and study for exams.

Under the move, which will come into effect on September 14, coffee sales will be strictly banned in primary, middle and high schools in South Korea.

“Coffee will disappear from cafeterias and vending machines in schools,” the spokeswoman told AFP.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said students tended to use “energy drinks” and coffee with milk to study intensively during the exams.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety warned of the health effects of many coffee, noting that excessive intake can cause nausea, as it causes irregular heartbeat and sleep disorders.

South Korea is the seventh largest importer of coffee in the world, according to the Korea International Trade Association, which imported 700 million dollars of coffee in 2017.

South Korean citizens drink an average of 512 coffee a year, the association said.

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