health

Cigarettes more dangerous than ever: U.S. health report

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Smoking cigarettes can cause even more health problems than lung cancer, including blindness, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and liver cancer, said a major U.S. government report on Friday.

The latest Surgeon General's findings on the health consequences of smoking were to be formally announced at the White House, in a ceremony marking 50 years since the first landmark report of its kind warned Americans that cigarettes caused lung cancer.

Even though smoking rates are way down in the United States -- 18% of people here now smoke compared to 42% five decades ago -- modern cigarettes are more potent and more dangerous than ever, said Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak.

"Smokers today have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than they did when the first Surgeon General's report was released in 1964, even though they smoke fewer cigarettes," said Lushniak.

"How cigarettes are made and the chemicals they contain have changed over the years, and some of those changes may be a factor in higher lung cancer risks."

The report said experts now know that active smoking can cause a common form of blindness called age-related macular degeneration, as well as diabetes, colorectal cancer and liver cancer.

Smoking can also cause tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction, facial clefts in infants, ectopic pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, impaired immune function, and worsens the outlook for cancer patients and survivors.

Those who do not smoke but are exposed to second-hand smoke face an increased risk of stroke, said the report.

More than 20 million people in the United States have died from smoking related diseases and illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States, killing nearly half a million Americans a year.

Another 16 million people suffer from smoking-related conditions.

If the current smoking rate does not drop further, one in 13 children alive today will be felled by a disease linked to smoking, the report added.

The cost of smoking in America is more than $289 billion a year in direct medical care and other economic factors, it said.

The report blamed the epidemic on the "aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the public on the risks of smoking cigarettes."

It is the actual burning of a cigarette that produces "the complex chemical mixture of more than 7,000 compounds that cause a wide range of diseases," the report said.

However, it also noted that "patterns of tobacco use are changing," as some smokers turn toward nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and other products like small flavored cigars.

Nicotine alone is far from risk-free, particularly during pregnancy when it can interfere with fetal brain development, cause stillbirth and premature delivery.

Previous Surgeon Generals' reports have found that nicotine is addictive, that smoking impacts nearly every organ of the body, and that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

In all, smoking has been found to cause more than a dozen kinds of cancer and even more chronic diseases.

U.S. research released last week showed that despite a cut in the smoking rate globally, the number of smokers in the world has climbed from 721 million in 1980 to 967 million in 2012 due to population growth and the gaining popularity of cigarettes in the developing world.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

91 Comments
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I'm pretty sure we get that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health.

It would be more beneficial if there are more articles on how to quit smoking. I'm a former smoker who couldn't quit for so long knowing how bad it is.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

And it would be even more beneficial to 100% ban all smoking indoors in Tokyo and the rest of Japan. Why isn't there a major movement for this? Why aren't there stickers on the doors of every business, restaurants, izakaya, and coffee shop declairing if it is safe to come inside or not??? I hope Japan will ban all indoor smoking before the Olympics. Today would be better.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

@Ranger_Miffy2

"100% ban all smoking indoors in Tokyo and the rest of Japan"

Why do you care if someone smokes inside their homes ? And how do you enforce such law ? You want the police to come into your house if they suspect you might be smoking ?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Why do you care if someone smokes inside their homes ? And how do you enforce such law ? You want the police to come into your house if they suspect you might be smoking ?

If you want to smoke in the privacy of your own home, puff way. However, Japan should ban smoking in restaurants, izakayas and coffee shops like other first world countries. Smoking in public is anti-social behavior.

16 ( +21 / -6 )

http://www.chantix.com/

It would be more beneficial if there are more articles on how to quit smoking. I'm a former smoker who couldn't quit for so long knowing how bad it is.

I am not sure if you still trying to quit for good. Here is a medication called "CHANTIX" available for you. Hope you can get it in Japan. Good luck.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I agree with Ranger_Miffy2 that there should be a ban on all indoor smoking here in Japan. The fact that smokers are now in the minority in Japan but are still able to affect the atmosphere and health of the majority "non-smokers" in places such as restaurants, bars, izakaiyas and coffee shops makes no sense. One of the main reasons may be the fact that the Japanese government owns a controlling interest in JT and is therefore reluctant to impose a ban that could lead to a reduction in profits and taxable income. Revenue over health....mmmmmm.....

9 ( +12 / -4 )

Quitting smoking is a wise choice for your health. If you are facing other health challenges, are not eating healthy and are otherwise not following a healthy lifestyle then you need to address these latter issues first because if you attempt to quit smoking while you're still eating a unhealthy diet, you will likely be tempted to replace the cigarettes with some other reward like junk food. That's why you need to eat healthy before you give up smoking. Otherwise you simply trade smoking for overeating, or eating too much sugar and fast food leading to obesity and its related problems. This new healthy lifestyle will push some people to quit natural. So the first thing is to get started eating right, and exercising. Then you can start to think about kicking the smoking habit. Once you decide to quit, complete abstinence seems to be the most effective strategy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't agree on a ban on "all indoor smoking" in restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. Make clearly marked shops: this one allows smoking, this one doesn't. Then let the customers chose. I don't see anything wrong with a place where patrons gather together for a beer or coffee and a smoke. It's their choice, just don't go there. Or otherwise make smoking illegal. (But I firmly support a strictly enforced ban on smoking on streets or inside public buildings)

And by the way, I don't smoke.

0 ( +7 / -6 )

US general population will give you a cold shoulder if you are a smoker.

Smokers, in stereo type perception, are treated as non intelligent professionals. I am sorry. They just do not look too smart.

0 ( +4 / -5 )

Smoking should be either banned inside all public buildings, or there should be a completely isolated area for doing so. Japan is about 20 years behind the times on this issue, and really needs to get its finger out. 80-90 percent of bars and nightclubs are smoking friendly. It`s a joke

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Most of the unhealthiness of cigarettes these days comes from all the additives the tobacco companies add to them. Chemicals to make them not burn out when left in an ashtray. Chemicals to make them feel smoother. Chemicals to make them more addictive. If some company started selling organic additive-free cigarettes, they could probably make a killing. But the tobacco companies would never allow someone to get in on their monopoly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If some company started selling organic additive-free cigarettes, they could probably make a killing.

Tobacco companies always make a killing, about 6 million every year.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

With the govt. and JT so tied-in, nothing will ever change here. In Australia, you can't even smoke in your house or on your balcony (if you have a child under 18). Of course, smoking indoors is banned at all public venues.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan will never wake up completely when it comes to smoking. Take a look around you: oyaji (and koyaji), canned coffee in one hand, smoking away with that "I-am-cool-I-feel-like-the-Marlboro-Man" look on their faces, completely missing the fact that smoking stopped being considered "cool" sometime back in the 70's...

Knowing that the freaking government owns a large stake in Japan Tobacco, you can easily understand that there will not be an active anti-smoking movement here in the foreseeable future. No wonder japan never really is considered part of the so-called developed world.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It's nice this article talks about the chemicals in tobacco, often not mentioned or glossed over. They are a BIG part of the problem. What the article doesn't say is often 60-70% of cigarette volume is actually wood-chips or some other material soaked in the chemicals, so you are smoking mostly chemicals if you smoke a big brand butt.

If some company started selling organic additive-free cigarettes, they could probably make a killing.

There are several additive free and even organic tobaccos available. American Spirit is one such, most of their line is available in Japan, even often at conbinis. There are several others I forgot their names at tobacco stores. Then, roll your own are generally all additive-free, as are most pipe tobaccos and cigars.

I like the taste of American Spirits regular and the organic one. Lack of additives may be a part of why I am such an un-addicted occasional smoker. (I buy a pack every 6 mos- 1 yr, smoke 10 or so over several weeks and then throw the rest away.)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

knox, read this article :

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/09/01/language/smoking-now-too-uncool-for-school/#.UtnjJB2mpPM

FYI : in 1965, 83% of Japanese men used to smoke. In 2013, it was 32%.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Its mostly the additives. Always has been. I don't smoke, but I HATE to hear people shout for a ban, curbing people's freedom, rather than shout for the additives to be removed. If that is not stark enough for some to understand, consider that there are now electric cigarettes that produce no real smoke. But if smoking is banned, those would not be allowed.

Thank you Lowly for mentioning American Spirit. A friend of mine said he started smoking, and for someone I thought to be an intelligent person, I thought he had become an idiot. I started telling him about the additives, and he said he knows. He only smokes American Spirit. While still not the best of moves, its not like we get to live forever anyway. If he takes pleasure and feels reduced stress from that, I don't think its any worse than my cola a day habit if its additive free tobacco.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

While the smoking rates are decreasing in Japan and awareness of the dangers are increasing, the social manners of many smokers still leave a lot to be desired.

My wife came home last night from a company farewell dinner with a raspy throat and watery eyes, reeking of stale smoke, Most men smoked tthroughout the dinner - while eating - (over 3 hours) and the women had to suffer in silence as they were juniors and couldn't dare to reproach the deplorable lack of manners on display. And the idea that smokers can consume quality food including sashimi and believe they are tuned into taste is laughable.

I regularly see smokiing in cars with children onboard and the fact that smoking is still allowed in Mcdonalds is nothing short of incredulous. My local Starbucks - which is no smoking, as are all - has an outdoor smoking area through which one must pass to gain access via the only door. This peculiar arrangement is repeated outside many non-smoking businesses and establishments or even in the foyers.

Smokers may well have their rights to indulge, but non-smokers have the right to not indulge and that means 2nd hand smoke. This is not debatable - smoke as much as you wish, I don't care - but don't degrade me with the residue of your habit. I don't have the right to pee on smokers with the residue of my habit - a quiet ale or 2.

The sooner many authorities in Japan can exercise some proper health and safety actions re smoking, maybe then we can enter the 21st C. They rant about PM2.5 from China, yet fail to see the local PM count that fogs us daily, courtesy of the "it's my right" smokers.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Paying to inhale PM 2.5 particles? Some people just like living dangerously.

Although a single cigarette is small in size and typically weighs less than 1 gram, a cigarette typically emits between 7 and 23 milligrams (mg) of PM 2.5 when it is smoked, depending on the manner of smoking and the brand ...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why do you care if someone smokes inside their homes ?

If you're living in an isolated house somewhere out in the country, that's fine. If you're living in an apartment building or high-density suburb, the smoke from your cigarettes is going to seep through cracks in doors and windows and through ventilation systems into other people's living areas. Actually there are very few places where you can smoke without inflicting the deadly by-products on other people.

A ban on smoking is not the answer, though. Education is. Cover cigarette packs with graphic images of tobacco-related diseases. Teach children in schools and through TV campaigns to complain when their parents abuse them with smoke. Teach business owners that smoking is linked to time loss and absenteeism and could one day expose them to lawsuits from non-smoking employees who suffer health damage.

It really amuses me that some people see smoking as a symbol of liberty. Smokers are slaves to nicotine and are forced to hand over huge amounts of money to tobacco companies and the taxman to feed their craving. Their addiction also blinds them to the fact that they are violating the freedom of non-smokers, including children, by polluting the air with their filthy habit.

In fact, these dirty addicts are blowing smoke in the face of liberty.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Make clearly marked shops: this one allows smoking, this one doesn't. Then let the customers ( choose ). I don't see anything wrong with a place where patrons gather together for a beer or coffee and a smoke. It's their choice, just don't go there."

Only problem with that, timeon, is since smokers still comprise at least a third of all Japanese adult males, and most of the other two thirds meekly "gaman," most restaurants and all izakayas, incredibly, allow smokers to fill the air with that putrid, cancer-causing smoke.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

funnycar-

yes, good idea about the additives. That is a campaign that might get more support if people stopped to think about it, rather than just 100% tobacco bans. The chemicals are the worst killers, and as second hand smoke/ environmental poisons go, s/t I REALLY don't need around me and mine.

As it stands though, they would laugh. "Healthy cigarettes? Haw haw."

As I mentioned in my previous post there are lots of non-additive options. Another problem however is, many ppl don't mind a little smoke, but smoke from cigars/ pipes, tho non-additive, is very thick and unpleasant to them. So maybe a general ban is just best...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

most restaurants and all izakayas, incredibly, allow smokers to fill the air with that putrid, cancer-causing smoke

I feel most sorry for the young staff who work in those places.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

At the very least, there needs to be a *genuine non-smoking section in all restaurants and bars. I think this is something few smokers would be against, either. Please don't call a few tables huddled in the corner a non-smoking section though. Also at least 80% of smokers I run into have quite bad manners (not all, though).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’m sick and tired of ignorant smokers who drop their filthy cigarette butts on the ground. Yes, bad manners indeed Bruinfan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Japan should ban smoking in restaurants, izakayas and coffee shops like other first world countries."

"First world countries"? I was just in Vietnam where smoking is banned inside restaurants. Same in Thailand, Singapore, and I think Cambodia, etc.

I knew I was back in dinosaur Japan when my clothes stank of stale smoke at the end of the day.

"At the very least, there needs to be a *genuine non-smoking section in all restaurants and bars."

A Japanese smoker was interviewed on TV who complained of the sealed off sections, saying they contained too much smoke and smelled bad. Ah, the logic of the habitual smoker.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Fun Fact:

Canada - a pack of smoke (20 cigarettes) for $11 CAD = 1,000 yen give or take.. Japan - a pack of smoke = 400 yen

There is still room for the cigarette price to go up right? More potential tax revenue for the government. no?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, I smoke. American Spirit only. I'm very careful in restaurants not to smoke if others are near or there are elderly or children, but I don't go out very much anyway. I don't even smoke inside my house. Never at family places like Jolly Pasta. I'm gonna quit sooner rather than later, but I'd never call for a ban. The Australian Gov. is crazy. I don't have a problem with businesses banning smoking, it's their choice.

Aside from smoking, the more freedom people have to make their own choices, the higher quality of life. Some people just love to complain, maybe the Gov. should ban that.

One more point, most of the tobacco grown in Japan is in and around Fukushima.

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

@FizzBit

I'm very careful in restaurants not to smoke if others are near

You mean when all the other diners have left and the staff have gone home? I really hate it when some fool lights up in a restaurant and spoils the taste of my food and wine.

But you're right about the Australian government. They've hiked cigarette taxes through the roof to discourage smoking, but they're relying on cigarette revenues to reduce the deficit.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Open air non-smoking sections in restaurants are like non-peeing sections in pools. What's the use !?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

browny1,

Yeah, the smoking ban inside Starbucks is the way to go but try to have a seat outside, perhaps, oh, I don't know, enjoying the weather on a clear day and you are joined, no, surrounded by these behind-the times people who think seats outside are only there for people to be able to smoke. It feels old.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Serrano, I often go to the izakayaz that have private rooms. usually smoke doesn't creep inside. most of the restaurants have smoke-free areas, and we choose the seats furthest away from the smoking area

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

No WONDER Stanley is just FINE, and I'm over 50....never TOUCH the stuff. And this just goes to highlight the fact they KNOW this TRASH is BAD for you, causes CANCER, among NUMEROUS other serious medical problems, and its STILL LEGAL, but Marijuana has numerous BENEFITS, and remains Illegal ?!?! WTF ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I can not believe your country didnt know about the health warnings from smoking and 2nd hand smoke. I was in japan last month and found it appalling that people still smoked in restaurants ..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have lived in australia or nz all of my life. It is great not to have to waft through veils of smoke in public bars and restaurants. Even outside buildings, no smoking within 5 meters. That is the one thing that turns me off Japan, smoking inside. A reformed smoker, I never used to smoke inside and hated going into a house or business that smelt of ashtrays. Smoking tobacco is bad for your health and that of others around you, not even marijuana is as bad for your body!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bronwyn, Just wait until the Olympics here, when zillions of people like you arrive in lovely Japan and find the horror of smoking indoors. Please complain hugely! May be it be what finally pushes Japan over the edge to ban it totally. God, I hope so, and the sooner the better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you're living in an apartment building or high-density suburb, the smoke from your cigarettes is going to seep through cracks in doors and windows and through ventilation systems into other people's living areas.

It this is a serious concern to you, you must walk around with a gas mask on, given all those cars and factory smokestacks out there.

Their addiction also blinds them to the fact that they are violating the freedom of non-smokers, including children, by polluting the air with their filthy habit.

Oh, for crying out loud. Some people are rude and insensitive. Its true. But I have seen plenty of smokers who are very careful to get away from people to smoke, or make sure others around are okay with their smoke.

And if you are so concerned about the freedom from smoke, I will start taking you seriously when I see you at the helm of a wrecking ball, squashing cars and knocking over smokestacks. Until that day, I will consider that considerate smokers have the right to smoke, while inconsiderate ones are the only ones who should be penalized.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Smoking was why many of the Greatest Generation of World War II veterans from World War II didn't live past their 60's--and it's not hard to figure out why: cigarettes were literally being given away by the tobacco companies to US service personnel as part of their daily rations, and that hooked the entire generation on cigarettes. And we're not talking filtered tip cigarettes--that innovation didn't happen until middle 1950's.

I do think that we may see smoking banned in many public areas in Japan very soon, even in bars and izakaya. After all, banning smoking in bars hasn't hurt that business here in the USA.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The report blamed the epidemic on the “aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the public on the risks of smoking cigarettes.” - And now they add the e-cigarette addiction tool.

Just like guns and the NRA, tobacco has no intention of cutting profits, just the sale and promotion of deadly products to the world.

The only thing that stand in their way? Laws.

Tobacco and the NRA are very busy buying and dismantling those protections. The merchants of death dance a merry jig, golden coins jingle and children die. All is right with the world.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Smoking can also cause tuberculosis

This simple quotation illustartes perfectly the total insanity of this "scientific" report.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This simple quotation illustartes perfectly the total insanity of this "scientific" report.

"Cause" might be too strong a word, but medical discussions about the link between smoking and tuberculosis is hardly new. It is just that other factors, such as alcohol consumption, may affect the results of the research.

Where an association has been found there seems to be an increase in tuberculosis case rates of between two- and four-fold for those smoking in excess of 20 cigarettes a day, but it may be difficult to control for other factors, particularly alcohol consumption.

A likely possibility is that nicotine turns off the production of TNF-α by the macrophages in the lungs, rendering the patient more susceptible to the development of progressive disease from latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

http://trstmh.oxfordjournals.org/content/100/4/291

So, it seems that it isn't like there is no connection between smoking and TB.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While smoking clearly can't "cause" TB, like it causes cancer, it can encourage the dormant, symptomless form of the disease to become active and potentially fatal.

Smokers are more than twice as likely to have active TB than non-smokers if smoking's the only difference in the groups.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

funny carJan. 18, 2014 - 09:15PM JST

If you're living in an apartment building or high-density suburb, the smoke from your cigarettes is going to seep through cracks in doors and windows and through ventilation systems into other people's living areas.

It this is a serious concern to you, you must walk around with a gas mask on, given all those cars and factory smokestacks out there.

Their addiction also blinds them to the fact that they are violating the freedom of non-smokers, including children, by polluting the air with their filthy habit.

Oh, for crying out loud. Some people are rude and insensitive. Its true. But I have seen plenty of smokers who are very careful to get away from people to smoke, or make sure others around are okay with their smoke.

And if you are so concerned about the freedom from smoke, I will start taking you seriously when I see you at the helm of a wrecking ball, squashing cars and knocking over smokestacks. Until that day, I will consider that considerate smokers have the right to smoke, while inconsiderate ones are the only ones who should be penalized.

According to a social study on this issue, the finding is very stunning in US demography. Most 18% or smokers are non professionals without higher educations. Are you a smoker?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I was just in Vietnam where smoking is banned inside restaurants. Same in Thailand, Singapore, and I think Cambodia, etc.

Great. Glad to see there are countries that are banning smoking inside buildings. Gives me another reason to book my trip to Vietnam.

So many people bitching about smokers. You all sound like little girls. "My clothes smell." " I have to walk through smoke to buy my latte at starbucks." I think Japan is doing quote a fair job in cafes and restaurant. Theres nothing wrong with having glasses off areas for smokers. Stop whining!

It's my choice not to smoke. Why should I, or anyone else, have to breath in secondhand smoke? I've seen first had what smoking does to the body. Japan is doing QUITE well in cafes and restaurants? I think not. Japan still has a long way to go.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You all sound like little girls. "My clothes smell." "

That's just a sign of it. Would you make the same remark about people complaining about atmospheric pollution from car and factory smokes, particules, etc ? And well, the community can at least see some benefits from having cars and industry, but not really from having smokers bringing the fog under their noses.

that smoking is still allowed in Mcdonalds is nothing short of incredulous

Well that's perfect, same market for both plagues. Let's see if they get sick first from the cig or from the burger addction.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@funny car

It this is a serious concern to you, you must walk around with a gas mask on, given all those cars and factory smokestacks out there.

I was waiting for someone to come up with this silly argument. Do you work for a cigarette company?

Over the past few decades, car manufacturers and factory operators have made huge advances in emission reduction through things like catalytic converters and particulate filters. Fuels have also been improved, notably through the removal of lead from gasoline. What have cigarette manufacturers done? They've stopped using blue asbestos in filters. Otherwise their products have gotten worse rather than better, as this article states.

I will consider that considerate smokers have the right to smoke,

I've never seen a considerate smoker. What do they look like?

Then there's the argument from utility. If every car, truck and factory chimney were eliminated tomorrow, we'd all starve. Our houses would burn for want of fire trucks, and injured people would die for want of ambulances. If every cigarette were eliminated, the addicts would suffer for a while for want of their nicotine nipples. Everyone else would be happier and healthier.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

According to a social study on this issue, the finding is very stunning in US demography. Most 18% or smokers are non professionals without higher educations. Are you a smoker?

Nope. But I come from a family of smokers. I went to college and I have a steady job, although I cannot claim to be a "professional".

I HATE cigarette smoke. I HATE having that garbage on my clothes and hair. But I am NOT going to go on about how some guy smoking in the apartment downstairs from me somehow affects my health while ignoring all those cars spewing exhaust and all those smokestacks spewing whatever the hell is coming out of them. That sort of paranoia and silliness would seem to spread out over a wider demographic. We all got bigger fish to fry.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Raising tax on tobacco products is the most effective modality of reducing the rates of cigarette smoking. Cigs in Japan are ridiculously cheap compared to other developed countries, and there is no GOOD reason for this. The government has a right to maximize tax revenues on tobacco, but it needs to be shamed into divesting ownership of JT. That would give it the flexibility to double or treble the tax and not worry about the drop in sales, while probably collecting the same amount of tax as now, if not more, from fewer addicts. By the way, the whole issue of corrupt Big Tobacco, banning smoking, and taxation was covered perfectly in a hilarious episode of "Yes, Prime Minister" a few decades back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First issue banning cigarettes in public places an ques should be no brainer. Find in the general welfare of the public and not for some right for an inconsiderate individual to offend and endanger others.

Second issue> Taxes. Taxes on cigarettes should be commensurate with the cost to society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even third hand smoke, particles on clothes indoors, kills.It is not just about whether one likes or dislikes smelly clothes.But JT can get away with trying to sideline complaints by putting up posters on subways telling smokers to mind their manners. As if that absolves them of guilt in the crime of murder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The biggest laugh I ever let out in Japan was when I was entering a restaurant down in Akiba under the JR Lines where the Yamanote sen and Keihin-Tohoku sen run. There was this sign just inside the door that was brightly inked and read "No Hazardous Materials Allowed" and yet most of the patrons were smoking like it was their last meal. I nearly died laughing at the lunacy of such a STUPID sign in such an 'hazardous' environment. That in its self clearly demonstrates why it is taking Japan so long to ban smoking in public places. They just don't get it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

funny carJan. 19, 2014 - 09:25AM JST

I am glad you are not a smoker. I am posting weblink of American Cancer Society.

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke

Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer

There is nothing you can do if you are sharing a ventilation system with others who smoke in apartment. How about opening up all windows for fresh air? I lost my friend to lung cancer about 7 years ago. He was treated by University of Colorado Cancer Center. He was only 45 years old and never smoked in his life. He used to work in bar as while he was going to college.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The health risk and impact from smoking isn't a matter of "opinion".

What the individual smoker does is their own business until it endangers others. Smoking cafes or non-smoking public places are obvious accommodations.

The take away is clear "—modern cigarettes are more potent and more dangerous than ever".

For those advocating letting them be with their addiction add these cancers to the list of direct threats from smoking.

"Smoking also increases the risk of over a dozen other cancers including cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (upper throat), nose and sinuses, esophagus (food pipe), liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix and bowel, as well as one type of ovarian cancer and some types of leukemia." detailed article at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/smokingandtobacco/smoking-and-cancer

Does it take cancer to get the smokers' attention? Some are crying for their smokes because it looks cool. How cool do you look with no lower jaw? Bottom line" a dirty habit with no redeeming benefit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If non smokers carried a patch on their shirt that would change colour to show exposure to cigarette smoke like radiation dosimeters do for radiation, then we'd see a change real fast as people would see that as an attack on their lives. I mean, if I went around with a can of radon gas and just sprayed it in public people would lose their collective minds so why is smoking allowed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've never seen a considerate smoker. What do they look like?

A considerate smoker is the one who goes outside and smokes in dedicated smoking areas, or away from other people. I know a few people like this. They are conscious about not imposing their habit upon other people. I'm not a smoker myself, but I think that everyone has the right to smoke if they want to. I just don't want to have it imposed upon me, unless I choose for that, such as when I go with my friends to the smoking areas. I think the nanny-state people who would have smoking banned everywhere are just as bad as the smokers who smoke wherever and whenever they feel like it. The latter poisons people's bodies, the former poisons people's minds.

The whole American Spirit thing is interesting to me. I had no idea that people could buy additive free, organic tobacco. I may even be willing to try one some time, though I wouldn't go so far as to buy a pack to do so.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Societal costs in the US. $35.00 per pack of cigarettes. Source> American Cancer Society. That should be the tax on those ingested hazardous materials. I would also suggest a penalty for deliberately harming others. http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs?&gclid=CKT1sISiibwCFQWTfgodlE4Acg

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think the nanny-state people who would have smoking banned everywhere are just as bad as the smokers who smoke wherever and whenever they feel like it. The latter poisons people's bodies, the former poisons people's minds.

. Smoking cigarette and marijuana are totally banned in public buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, bars and restaurants. We like it. And according to the stats, Colorado is the thinnest and healthiest state in US. We are very health conscious people. If you throw stone, it will hit either health food stores or health clubs. Many natives do not smoke in high altitude here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

globalwatcher-

What does this mean? I have no idea!

Most 18% or smokers are non professionals without higher educations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LowlyJan. 19, 2014 - 01:29PM JST

globalwatcher-

What does this mean? I have no idea!

Most 18% or smokers are non professionals without higher educations.

This is an opportunity cost. Smoking are now spread among high school students. Just like we do for a sex education, we need to start educating kids about a pro/con of smoking before they get addicted. Some kids on 3nd grade are already smoking. It takes a partnership with parents to do it successfully.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have read that the Japanese government does not accept any link between smoking and lung cancer. As long as the government refuses to accept that smoking is really harmful, nothing will change here. There was more noise about increasing tobacco prices than the consumption tax when the prices went up by 100-yen a pack a couple of years ago. Smokers tend to be male, tend to be selfish and are a very vocal minority. Given that less than one in three Japanese adults smoke, how this country remains so loaded in favour of the smoker is disturbing. I think it is because non-smokers tend to be female and tend to be young, so there is no strong anti-smoking lobby in Japan, meanwhile the government part-owns JT, and wants to maximise revenue.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Smokers tend to be male, tend to be selfish and are a very vocal minority.

They might not be scared of cancer, emphysema, heart disease, etc., but there is a condition listed in this article that is guaranteed to get the attention of male smokers if it were publicized more: erectile dysfunction. The Japanese government frets about the falling birthrate, but it continues to peddle a product that's turning Japanese men into chain-smoking eunuchs.

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hamptonJan. 19, 2014 - 02:05PM JST

I have read that the Japanese government does not accept any link between smoking and lung cancer

You are right on. Here is a weblink to prove your claim. I guess tax revenue is more important than money they spend on health care. Idiots.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_in_Japan

nearly 30 million people smoke in Japan, making the country one of the world's larger tobacco markets BOOOO,

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I didn't know about the blindness thing, but the other 'additional' diseases caused by smoking have been known for quite some time, I thought. Canadian packages have been running warnings about erectile disfunction for years, and there have been some pretty clever commercials about it, where a good looking man pulls out a smoke in front of some interested women and it suddenly goes limp, etc.

Anyway, ban smoking altogether, I say, but until that day comes, if ever, at least ban it in ALL public places, including the streets and the sidewalks. And please... when you get 'tougher' on it, try to enforce it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The report said experts now know that active smoking can cause a common form of blindness called age-related macular degeneration.

yep, affected my smoking grandmother while she was alive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is nothing you can do if you are sharing a ventilation system with others who smoke in apartment.

You can move. You can also seal off the vent.

You can also not move in in the first place if you are so sensitive. Surely one is going to be able to smell the smoke if there is enough to do harm.

And I still don't get what part about about car exhaust and factory smokestacks you don't understand global.

Do you live in a bubble?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Do you live in a bubble?

First, all my years, I was working for 10 top US major corp. headquarters (private) and for the state. They owned non smoking buildings.

Second, God has been very good to me. We never had to live in apartments. I do not have to go to bars. There are too many outdoor activities to do every day. It is just beautiful here. I smell clean air & Blue Spruce, Ponderosa, blue sky and very peaceful. .

We keep our house very clean and organized. Friends and family know this is a non smoking house. .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You have missed my meaning. No surprise.

I hate cigarettes. I hate nico-fascists more.

Its great that the number of smokers in the world has been reduced via aggressive anti-smoking campaigns. But the reality is that that approach has been played out, and simply turning up the volume won't drop the numbers further.

And so I again say that the focus would be better if it were getting those poisonous additives out of cigarettes. But of course even better would be realizing that there is more out there that is killing us and killing us more.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I suggest to the moralist commentators to have a look at the life expectancy on Wiki. Countries where so-called unhealthy - according to the US standards - way of life (smoking, fat, drinking, …) have a higher life expectancy.

I do believe having a bit fun helps somewhat to live longer.

And I do not want these moralist people obliging me to have a boring life with lower life expectancy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Wiki article cited by globalwatcher says absolutely nothing to the effect that the gov't does not recognize the link between smoking and luing cancer. Got any more "evidence" to prove whatever point you were attempting to make?

funny car - you are right that turning up the volume will not have much more effect. Raisng the tax on a pack will though, and has been shown to especially cut the number of young smokers, which is a huge public health payoff since older smokers are already at high risk anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Steve: raising the tax has been proven to have the black market rocketing. UK: 40%, France 33%, and so on… With mega profits, counterfeits - 100 times more dangerous than declared cigarettes - are flooding high cigarette tax countries.

And this is even worse on young smokers because they will go for Chinese made cr%^* cigarette for cheap. Moderate taxes may have a positive effect in reducing consumption, but heavy ones have a proven contrary effect.

Except of course if you want to sustain gangster business.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

funny carJan. 19, 2014 - 10:10PM JST

You have missed my meaning. No surprise.

The way you finished your post with "bubble" translating I am not in touch with a reality, that's the response I can give you. You do not know I was a smoker once before. By the way, I drive Prius hybrid.

Whatever, I still cannot link two of your posts together. That's fine. Life is good. Good luck to you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

funny car:

the focus would be better if it were getting those poisonous additives out of cigarettes

As a smoker, I would appreciate if you could let me know what are these poisonous additives. Or any link to find about it.

Thanks!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Steve FabricantJan. 19, 2014 - 10:21PM JST

The Wiki article cited by globalwatcher says absolutely nothing to the effect that the gov't does not recognize the link between smoking and luing cancer. Got any more "evidence" to prove whatever point you were attempting to make?

Yes, many small restaurants are still mixing smokers with non smokers. It is a reality. I do not live there, but once a year I visit Japan and the SE Asia during Cherry Blossom Festival.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Societal costs in the US. $35.00 per pack of cigarettes. Source> American Cancer Society.

But if you look at the cost over a lifetime, smokers cost less to society than non-smokers, as they die earlier, and therefore incur less medical costs.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But if you look at the cost over a lifetime, smokers cost less to society than non-smokers, as they die earlier, and therefore incur less medical costs.

smokers die of serious conditions which always involve long periods first visiting hospitals and then stays of usually more than 6 months.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Zichi: what is the public sheet balance of a smoker vs. non smoker?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi: what is the public sheet balance of a smoker vs. non smoker?

That's a difficult one. I'm an ex-Smoker of probably more than 40 years. Different time, different age. The smokers buys a product, gives jobs and company profit. Pays sales tax and provides taxes. I would have to be at least be an actuary to even try and answer your question in part. In most leading countries, smoking has become an negative, and sometime a big one. I feel better for not smoking and spend the money on better things. But there's personal freedom, and if people wish to smoke, then that's ok with me. But, and ther are many buts, all public smoking indoors and outdoors should be stopped or banned. If you want to smoke at home, fine. The situation in this country has changed over the last 20 years, for the better, with more restrictions on the smoker, and for the better of all, including the smokers. Freedom to smoke, freedom not to smoke nor experience the smoke from others seems to be the way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

globalwatcherJan. 19, 2014 - 11:06PM JST

Steve FabricantJan. 19, 2014 - 10:21PM JST

The Wiki article cited by globalwatcher says absolutely nothing to the effect that the gov't does not recognize the link between smoking and luing cancer. Got any more "evidence" to prove whatever point you were attempting to make?

Yes, many small restaurants are still mixing smokers with non smokers.

I also want to add a pack of cigarettes is too available to non smokers in Japanese vending machine. I have seen 4 sets of vending machines on streets intersection. . In US, every grocery store needs to lock all packs in storage shelf with key. Everyone is still required to show an ID EVERY time he/she purchases it. If not checking, it will be reported to the authority. You know we now have iphones. It is a law.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@globalwatcher

I also want to add a pack of cigarettes is too available to non smokers in Japanese vending machine. I have seen 4 sets of vending machines on streets intersection. . In US, every grocery store needs to lock all packs in storage shelf with key. Everyone is still required to show an ID EVERY time he/she purchases it. If not checking, it will be reported to the authority. You know we now have iphones. It is a law.

I think you are out of date on your comment, if I have understood it? You can't buy tobacco from a vending machine without an over 20 years ID card which you have to put on the machine before you can buy? I suppose a youth could borrow or steal their father!s card? Still better than before. Also vending machines are shut off from 11pm until early morning, probably 6 or 7 am?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You can't buy tobacco from a vending machine without an over 20 years ID card which you have to put on the machine before you can buy?

I apologize I did not do a good job on my previous post. You do not find any packs of cigarettes in vending machines in US.

The law allows vending machine use only for snacks, soft drinks and a few food packages with preservatives. US cigarette buyers still need to get a pack of cigarettes from a store clerk/a waitress. You are still required to show a personal ID showing you are old enough to get it.

I suppose a youth could borrow or steal their father!s card?

One store clerk was busted the other day here. A teenage boy used his father's ID card trying to buy one. The clerk did not do a good job to spot it and the illegal sale was reported to authority. Verification of ID is very strict here as Colorado is the first state allowing a Marijuana casual use.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Globalwatcher

And here too in this country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer

Japan-nearly 30 million people smoke in Japan, making the country one of the world's larger tobacco markets

I guess many do not want to hear what I have said above. US tobacco companies are aggressively moving into Japan market because US consumers are not buying their products. We, consumers had to stand up to fight against them for years. Japanese, do whatever that suit you the best...IIf you do not want to hear what I have said here, it is your loss not mine as they are very tough as listed below..

Federal Appeals Court Overturns Landmark Case against Tobacco Company

http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/federal-appeals-court-overturns-landmark-case-against-tobacco-company-121224?news=846570

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But if you look at the cost over a lifetime, smokers cost less to society than non-smokers

Have you included the cost of fires started by cigarette butts in that calculation? And what about the cost of treatment for second-hand smoke victims? The US Surgeon General's office estimates about 2.5 million deaths from SHS since 1964 in the US alone. Since they are all non-smokers, I guess their medical expenses would not be included in the societal cost of smoking.

This claim that revenues from cigarettes more than compensate for the cost to society is just another bit of tobacco industry propaganda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@openminded - cigarette smuggling is undoubtedly a problem in Europe where the borders are open now and mostly over land. This has always been true in the US as well where different states have widely divergent taxes (maybe not anymore?). But Japan seems to do a good job of controlling smuggling. Have there actually been instances of smuggled Chinese cigarettes in Japan? I agree that taxes would have to be raised gradually, probably up to the point where a large drop in teenage consumption can be seen. That would be politically feasible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

let each stake holder decide. you should be free to choose to smoke if you want and each property owner should be free to decided if you can smoke on his property or not. streets are public so government decides but if a bar owner wants to have a smoking establishment, it should posted clearly on the outside as such and then people can choose if they want to patronize/work there or not. legislating all places be non-smoking is so fascist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

each property owner should be free to decided if you can smoke on his property or not

However, each property owner should also be responsible for containing smoke and preventing it from drifting into neighboring properties.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Absolutely right, Alan. A relative was recently transferred and had to rent a small apartment for the workweek that seemed about perfect. After signing up and handing over the key money and deposit and moving in, it turned out that the neighboring apartment is occupied by a heavy smoker who was away when she had originally checked it out. Now she cannot open her windows for ventilation in warm weather because his are open too and the smoke flows directly into hers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But if you look at the cost over a lifetime, smokers cost less to society than non-smokers, as they die earlier, and therefore incur less medical costs.

smokers die of serious conditions which always involve long periods first visiting hospitals and then stays of usually more than 6 months.

I never said they didn't. I said that they cost less than non-smokers, as non-smokers live longer and require care further in their life.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/22/alcohol-obesity-and-smoking-do-not-cost-health-care-systems-money/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/08/how-much-does-smoking-cos_n_184554.html

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199710093371506

In particular, a quote from the last article (New England Journal of Medicine):

Conclusions

If people stopped smoking, there would be a savings in health care costs, but only in the short term. Eventually, smoking cessation would lead to increased health care costs.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

. I said that they cost less than non-smokers, as non-smokers live longer and require care further in their life.

I don't buy this argument, because I think a purely medical or actuarial analysis of smokers' lifetime costs covers only a fraction of the total costs imposed on society by smokers, including fires, work time lost, and collateral damage to those around them.

And even if this argument were valid, isn't it equivalent to saying that murder victims cost society less because they die younger, so murder should be tolerated? The agony, suffering and grief caused by tobacco need to be factored into the equation somewhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

http://www.smokefreecolorado.org/main.html

Our state government is heading to a tobacco free state trying to reduce health care cost. It seems that we have been fighting against tobacco industries for decades. Remember we legalized a marijuana casual use 20 days ago.

The study has shown tobacco smoking is truly bad for your health. You can google the facts on website in University of Colorado Medical Center - Lung Cancer Research Project.

Colorado is the thinnest and healthiest state among others and we want to keep it that way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Zichi

Thanks for the input. I am tired of some of the strawman arguments that pop up here.

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