For years, the communist country has been staging an anti-smoking campaign, with leader Kim Jong Il even calling smokers one of the "three main fools of the 21st century," along with people ignorant of music and computers.
The crackdown on smoking is now spreading to academia, according to a Wednesday report by the country's official media.
North Korea "is briskly proceeding anti-smoking activities, including a measure to strip smokers of their rights to go to university," the North's Korean Central News Agency said.
The current smoking rate in the North is down by about 15 per cent from 2000, and the country seeks to lower it below 30 per cent by 2010, according to KCNA, citing North Korean Vice Public Health Minister Choe Chang Sik.
The communist country has passed a cigarette control law, laying a legal basis necessary for anti-smoking campaigns, KCNA said. No further details were given.
Experts in South Korea estimate more than 40 per cent of North Korea's 22 million people light up regularly, compared to about 33 per cent in the South.
Last year, Korea Pugang Pharmaceutic Co., a Pyongyang-based drug firm, claimed to have developed a candy, made with rare medicinal herbs, that suppresses the desire to smoke cigarettes and heals smoking-related diseases.
North Korea is widely believed to be involved in producing counterfeit cigarettes, as well as counterfeit U.S. bank notes.