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Anti-smoking 'monsters' have smokers on the run

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From April 1, Kanagawa Prefecture enacted Japan's first ordinance to protect people from passive smoke. Its provisions call for a total ban on smoking in such places as government offices, schools and hospitals.

Sensing a shift in the way the wind is blowing, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has proposed a bill in the National Diet to ban smoking in the workplace, which it hopes to get enacted by next year. It's entirely possible this may lead to an eventual ban on smoking in commercial areas such as restaurants and hotels.

Discussing the issue in Spa! (Apr 13), journalist Takao Saito -- who coined the term "anti-smoking fascism" in a 1999 magazine article -- takes note that growing numbers of "Ken'en (smoke-hating) Monsters," feel increasingly empowered to confront smokers.

As one idea of the remarkable lengths to separate smokers and nonsmokers, a 21-year-old university student tells the magazine that one of his friends even keeps separate folders in his cell phone directory, with the phone numbers of smokers in one and nonsmokers in the other.

Or this: "Before our marriage, my husband's mother said to me, 'A daughter in law who smokes is a birdbrain, even if she gives birth to children," sighs a 29-year-old housewife.

And this: A 33-year-old man employed by an event organizer was informed by his supervisor, "Most people who smoke are low earners with a low academic record. I don't want any working for me."

A 48-year-old employee of a foodstuffs manufacturer, meanwhile, relates how his teenage daughter went after him with a vengeance.

"She's going through a rebellious streak, and turned into an anti-smoking monster," the man relates. "She'll screech at people who smoke while walking on the street, saying they're polluting the atmosphere, and complain that in the U.S., people who can't quit smoking are treated as losers. When we do the laundry, she becomes hysterical if her clothes are put in the machine together with mine.

"She's even got my wife joining in on the act. She tallied up my estimated total outlays for cigarettes over the past 22 years and raises this as the reason why our house is a rental."

A sidebar at the end of the article lists some of the more extreme examples of anti-smokers on the warpath in foreign countries. Last December in Haifa, Israel, actress Orly Zilberschatz puffed on stage for about 30 minutes during a production of David Mamet's "The Old Neighborhood." The theater was hit with a class-action lawsuit -- said to be the first of its kind in the world -- for exposing the audience (as well as other actors in the play) to a health threat.

Israel's National Council for the Prevention of Smoking demanded each of the 3,800 theater goers who have already attended the play receive compensation of 1,000 New Israeli Shekels (about 25,000 yen or $270), making a total claim equivalent to over 91 million yen.

Unless people stand up to this anti-smoking fascism, argues Saito, there's no telling which of our freedoms will be next to go. To drive home his point, he emulates the argument of anti-Nazi theologician Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), who is credited with the famous dictum, "They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist…"

"First we ban smokers without sound evidence," says Saito. "If this is tolerated, then next we'll ban the drinkers. And before long, it might come to the point that our very right to free speech is suppressed based on the logic that it's 'harmful.' If the anti-smoking movement is allowed to keep running amok, it won't stop with the smokers."

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MONSTER TO OPPOSE SECONDHAND SMOKE. As for Saito, he's MENTAL MIDGET.

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Saito is a smoker, that's all.

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"If the anti-smoking movement is allowed to keep running amok, it won't stop with the smokers."

No, if the anti-smoking movement is allowed to keep running amok, the country will become a healthier and better-smelling place.

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YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MONSTER TO BE AGAINST SECONDHAND SMOKE.

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I hope the addicts start taking a hint. We don't want your smoke in our lungs and on our clothes and hair. If you can't quit, get professional help.

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Hahaha, the last violent protest against the inevitable. Enjoy your last few cigarettes in public Mr. Saito.

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You don't have to be a monster to be against secondhand smoke.

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I'm eagerly waiting for Tokyo to have the balls and make the same actions (or stronger) than the mild mannered mayor of Kanagawa has done. Is it a dream? Maybe 3-4 years later, but I doubt I'll be here then. The other day, I was training at a golf driving range that I often pay to pratice at, and it was minus the usual smokers. I couldn't believe the difference in my lung condition between having a non-smoking environment and one where Mr. 5-minute, Mr. 6-minute and Mr. 7 minute (duration they can go WITHOUT smoking) show up. They hit balls (mostly driver) for 5 mintues or so, then they sit down and have a smoke. If you're there for an hour figure it out, a-san smoked 12 cigarettes, B-san smoked 10 and C-san smoked 8. And all of their second hand smoke goes all over the non-smokers and penetrates our lungs. I become a basket case in such a situation for the rest of the day and vow never to go again when those 3 show up...or get out within a half hour. That's the problem with smoking and smokers in public. Its never just ONE, but an UNENDING and very physically disturbing STREAM.......

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The smokers in Japan who ignore "no smoking" signs are one of my biggest peeves. It about time Japan started getting serious about passive smoking. This is more typical sensationalism from the tabloids Spa! and Shukan Post. And, what does Saito-san mean by no sound evidence?? Just trying to clear the air (pun intended).

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No sound evidence? Seriously, this guy needs to do some reasearch instead of spending all of his time running his mouth off.

Count me among the "monsters" who believe in my right to good health.

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“First we ban smokers without sound evidence,”

The tobacco industry in the US has been saying this, in the face of overwhelming evidence, for 50 years.

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As smoking is becoming a symbol, we have to remember that symbols are for simple minded people, as we see in the above hysterical examples.

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Saito-san makes a good point. We shouldn't be badmouthing people just because they smoke ... if they follow the rules of smoking.

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Excellent. Don't poison me, just poison yourself.

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We shouldn't be badmouthing people just because they smoke ... if they follow the rules of smoking.

If they follow the rules of smoking, we shouldn't even realise they are smokers.

‘A daughter in law who smokes is a birdbrain, even if she gives birth to children,” sighs a 29-year-old housewife.

Dunno what the sighing is all about. Smoking does have an effect on the foetus and only a birdbrain would take any kind of recreational drug while pregnant or nursing.

She tallied up my estimated total outlays for cigarettes over the past 22 years and raises this as the reason why our house is a rental.

And she's probably right.

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smokers are entitled to smoke but not in areas where non smokers can be affected ie: any indoor location...

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smokers are entitled to smoke but not in areas where non smokers can be affected ie: any indoor location...

Yes!! This also inclues any outdoor location where a nonsmoker might conceivably be in the next hour, since smoke often lingers. And cars, omg. I can't count the number of times that cars have passed me on the street (while I am walking) and I got a faceful of smoke just reeking out of their closed windows. It's ridiculous! How many others have experienced this?)

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You must walk really close to cars, baka. These edicts don't change the reality of smoker behaviour. They just get indignant about it. I had a party where a teacher smoked beside a pregnant colleague. And at several schools I've been to , staff - including the principal - smoke outside the staff room or on school grounds, sometimes at times or places when they can be seen by students.

I know Japan is capable of dramatic and fast change, but we're talking about something with a physiologically addic

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-tive component.

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I'm a social smoker, meaning a bum a cig off my coworkers during breaks. I do it to socialize with people, but I don't make it a habit. However, I've gotten some nasty looks from people walking past me even though I was standing right next to the huge ashtray in the marked off area designated for smoking. Sure, smoke travels a bit but it IS a designated area and people DO have a choice (walk on the other side of the street, for example)

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I understand where baka is coming from...I have gotten that too, just as a car goes by when I am walking down the sidewalk or when standing at a crosswalk waiting to cross. I know I have gotten a few seconds of stink in my face. I wouldn't really consider smoking to big a deal if it wasn't for second hand smoke.

“First we ban smokers without sound evidence,” says Saito. “If this is tolerated, then next we’ll ban the drinkers. And before long, it might come to the point that our very right to free speech is suppressed based on the logic that it’s ‘harmful.’ If the anti-smoking movement is allowed to keep running amok, it won’t stop with the smokers.”

That is hilarious! There are SO many countries with much stricter non-smoking rules and they haven't collapsed or fallen under some tyrannical regime!! What a paranoid knob! And banning smokers without sound evidence? Has the guy got no education whatsoever? There is pllllennnty of evidence out there.

And sorry...they have to pass laws to stop people from smoking at the hospital? That just blows me away. I know smoking in hospitals back home in the West was banned because we had to pass laws to get it banned, yes. But that was decades ago...the evidence is out there and in this day and age, it is ridiculous to even imagine a cigarette in a hospital.

I wish someone could invent a smokeless cigarette. I am not anti-smoking, I am anti-sharing-your-crappy-smoke-with-me. Butt out.

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Japan is 20-30 years behind the US and Canada when it comes to banning smoking. Only when the citizens start speaking up, and bringing JT to court for giving them lung cancer, will the government really do something. The Japanese government has a lot to lose from this movement, though, maybe that's why there are cigarette vending machines everywhere and convenience stores don't ID underage customers.

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Japan is 20-30 years behind the US and Canada when it comes to banning smoking

I have some doubt about that number, but anyway the gap is closing fast I am happy to say. Sure, vending machines are everywhere, but you can only buy from them with a special pass and in my community at least convenience stores don't sell to young people. There are always ways to circumvent the law, but things are definitely changing.

Gradually increasing the price of tobacco will discourage people to start smoking.

Smoking and free speech? Argue that in China. They will tell you you can smoke all you want, anywhere, anytime.

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"Only when the citizens start speaking up, and bringing JT to court for giving them lung cancer, will the government really do something."

And therein lies the crux of the whole matter, and not just about 2nd hand smoking, noise pollution ("chirigami kokan" anyone?, loud, incessant, continuous dog barking 3meters from your window all day long, pushing with bags on the trains, endless and repeated announcements now coming at you in Bilingual, heaven forbid when it becomes trilingual etc.). Everytime I face one of these situations and ask "the citizens" they answer with the provrbial "Sho ga nai, ja nain desu ka?"

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And let me add quickly,"citizens start speaking up AND bringing JT to court (AND WINNING A SUIT)" about the dangers and damages of 2nd hand-smoking is essential. In addition, raising taxes by 10-yen per butt, making it a financial matter might help. I remember reading an article recently that discussed the damages of 3rd-hand smoking (i.e. the remnants of the the 2nd hand smoke after the smoker leaves the area.) As pervalent and devastating (to oneself and to others) as addictive tobacco/nicotine smoke is, its a wonder Eco friendly Japan hasn't taken swifter action. The trains have because they need foreign tourists and Olympics and things like that. Now, may we all redouble our efforts to rid it even further in public areas, giving us indoor and outdoor spaces free of the 1st-2nd-and 3rd hand smoke.

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I`m an anti-smoking monster and proud of it. Have been ever since some ignorant ba#$%$d flicked fagg ash all over my 3 month old in her pram. You respect non-smokers and we will respect you. You flick fagg ash over our children, we will stamp our foot and scream at you in very bad Japanese!

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The ease and frequency with which people utter the word "ban" truly gives me pause. I don't like cigarettes either, but all the smokers I know at my workplace have a place to smoke and they smoke there. This solution is fine. The word "ban" has little place in a fair society.

And for those of you all bothered with about cigarette smoke coming out of private cars! You won't believe what comes out the exhaust pipe! Geez. Have a look a the skyline of smokestacks sometime! You might faint!

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Rules are only worthwhile if people follow them. Just the other day I was in the train station, standing on a platform and waiting for the train when a guy pulled out his lighter and lit up a cigarette as he walked by. Stations have been "no smoking" for what, a year? No excuse at all, but everyone just stared at him with their mouths agape.

And all these -kus where you supposedly can't smoke on the street? HA!

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Saito's comparison of his misguided ideas with the eloquence of Martin Niemoller is profoundly dishonest. Cigarette smokers aren't the victims of totalitarian ideologies. They are the dictators. They impose their filthy habit on those around them by force every time they light a bonfire in their mouths. I'm sure no-one would care about smokers if they could find a way to smoke that kept their fumes away from decent people. A plastic bag over the head perhaps...

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I smoke, by choice, howevr I will not smoke where it is not allowed. Please do let me know if there are any other personal choices that I should change because you do not approve of them and I will stop immediately. NOT LOL Monkey, sorry you had to inhale some fumes from some fools smoke at trackside, are there any other odors you find offensive?

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What rankles me is having to shampoo and launder to get the odor of other people's fags out of my hair and clothing. The smell will cling to anyone, even if he/she sits a good distance away in the non-smoking area.

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I`m an anti-smoking monster and proud of it. Have been ever since some ignorant ba#$%$d flicked fagg ash all over my 3 month old in her pram. You respect non-smokers and we will respect you. You flick fagg ash over our children, we will stamp our foot and scream at you in very bad Japanese!

A useless comment, because you would react the same if an ignorant driver would hit your baby pram, but would you turn into a anti-driving monster? I am a non smoker, but unlike many others on this board I am less worried about second hand smoke than all those other things in this world which can kill you (often much faster). The danger of second hand smoke is overrated if you realize what you breathe in day in day out and consider the risks you take when you go to work by car or bike or even on foot or stick in your mouth. When and who decided to turn our smoking fellow friends into the communist of the 21st century? Let them have their cigs and they will let you have your pint, hamburger and occasionally let you drive 60 in a 50 km/h zone without preaching us about the dangers to yourself and in the last case, the people around you. Sometimes peoples reactions make me ashamed to be a non-smoker and nowadays especially, many smokers have far better manners than non-smokers...tragic it has come this far....what`s next, the anti fast-food brigade?

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40 years ago non-smokers cared not. I think we've created anti-smoking "monsters."

Tobacco doesn't kill young people. SHS is a modern-day myth. Some may find flatulence on a a train or even a compost pile more disgusting.

Open a window.

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There's a BIG difference between asserting yourself and being a monster.Non-smokers have been made to put up with second hand smoke for far too long in Japan. The problem is that if you allow smoking in a venue, then everybody has to smoke if you include passive smokers. Non-smokers make up the majority of people in Japan (which has a relatively high percentage of smokers compared to most countries... 10% in Australia, 30% in Japan.) Non-smokers have the right to assert themselves... sorry if this seems like us being monsters.

Ironically when calling anti-smoking people fascists... maybe a dictionary would help? The people who have allowed smoking for so long in Japan are the right-wing parties, who have had very close relationships with big tobacco corporations (that's what fascism is all about... being in the pockets of big corporations.) So calling those who try to attack the big corporations "fascists" does have a tone of irony about it.

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HeyLars, have to admit you do have a good point there. I don't like the stink that wafts by out of the cars from smokers, but I suppose it is only for a second. And yes, the fumes coming out of the cars is horrible too. Can't wait for the day that changes.

Japan is 20-30 years behind the US and Canada when it comes to banning smoking

I have some doubt about that number, but anyway the gap is closing fast I am happy to say.

Actually that number is just about right. Probably slightly more accurate if it read "about 25 years behind". I distinctly remember in the mid-eighties when my father could no longer smoke in his office and it seemed hilarious to we kids that he would have to huddle outside with the other smokers. Then came the caged in smoking areas in eating establishments in the late 80s/early 90s and not long after that, no smoking in anywhere with food...in fact no smoking anywhere public at all except bars and clubs. And since then, smoking wound up banned even in the bars and clubs.

Here, in restaurants, I try my best to enjoy my food despite the clouds of cigarette smoke that adds an extra je ne sais quoi to the flavour. And as long as I have been here, it still throws me for a loop when I walk into an office and it smells of stale and fresh smoke while the staff smoke away at their desks.

Japan still has a loooong way to go but they are working on it! If the French can ban smoking, surely the Japanese can start to learn to smoke in the smoking areas rather than pretend they have no idea what the no smoking symbol they are standing next to, means. lol They will get there!

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The real "monsters" are those selfish people who insist on smoking and polluting the air that we breathe in various places. Despite what this stupid, know-nothing journalist says, there is plenty of accredited evidence that passive smoking, or second hand smoke, causes illness and death. Smokers can and must submit to the will of the majority ofsensible people everywhere, who want this disgusting drug habit banned.

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The real "monsters" are those selfish people who insist on smoking and polluting the air that we breathe in various places.

Various places: cars, trucks?

Man-oh-man, even trees pollute. Check it out.

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The bloke who sits next to me at work spends half the day standing outside the office with a fag on, then comes back and breathes his rancid backy breath all over the place and sits there coughing and phlegming. I make it a point of principle to break wind every time I walk past him, to give him a dose of his own medicine. Does that make me a monster?

If so, I welcome the charge.

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Okay, two important points:

In less than a month they'll be releasing 'e-cigarettes' in Japan. This means that smokers can indulge their habit with (a) no secondary smoke and (b) less health risks to themselves.

A lot of the complaints are about people who are inconsiderate smokers, but people seem to be missing the 'inconsiderate' bit and just assuming all smokers are inconsiderate. Target the 'inconsiderate' bit, not every smoker, just like there are laws against inconsiderate drivers or drinkers.

Harassing every smoker you see is equally inconsiderate and irresponsible. I'm sick of non-smokers feeling they have the right to judge me, especially when I smoke outdoors at least 10m away from anyone else, pop a breath mint afterwards to neutralise the odor, and generally try to respect everyone else's right to live as they choose. Make the mistake of harassing me and you'll be in a police station answering charges, because you're the one in the wrong, not me, and non-smokers have to get over their superiority complex. If you're harassing someone you're the criminal, not me.

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Ivan, you monster you, ha ha, hey, can't you move your desk a little farther away from Mr. Chimney?

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Regarding the ban: Very welcome news indeed.

At least in Japan if you confront a smoker in a non-smoking place you have some leverage. Can't say the same for the Netherlands where I happen to live now. At my university there are throngs of people, young and old alike, smoking just in front of the "No smoking within 7 metres of the building" signs. People are smoking at metro stations, bus and tram stops, where not. Even parks are not safe: once, I made room for this elderly couple to join me on a bench, but as soon as they sat down they started blowing their smoke in my face. When I asked them to please not smoke, because I was a non-smoker, their reply was "No can do, this is Europe, and it's European to smoke."

Despite all the smokers in Tokyo and the lack of anti-smoking laws, I was much less smoked at in Tokyo than here, mind you! Get those smoking bans fast, Japan.

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LUNCHMEAT 2nd hand smoke is NOT a myth just like dinosaurs and global warming are NOT MYTHS! the problem with your answer of open a window? what if you can't ? oh say its RAINING like it often does in Japan, or COLD like it is quite a lot of the year. AND THAT DOES NOTHING FOR THE STENCH! I once smoked and I am now THANK GOD 6 years quit . I never knew how much I STUNK when I smoked. You can smell a smoker from 10 ft away. And UGH when you get on an elevator with someone who just put one out. Smokers don't realize that not only are they polluting our air they are offensive even when they are not lit up. AS FOR THE SHS MYTH I recently lost a friend to lung cancer who had never smoked, how did he get it? The Doctors say it was because he was a life-long musician and the second hand smoke he was subjected to killed him WAY TOO YOUNG he was only 54.SO YES YOUR SECOND HAND SMOKE DOES HARM OTHERS. OH AND IVAN >> GOOD ON YA! EAT JAPANESE GARLIC GREENS THEY"LL GIVE YOU SOME GREAT AMMO!

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This is now in the 40's and hopefully continues into the 100's. Smoking damages lungs. My lungs, your lungs, your childrens lungs and even Saito's lungs. Nicotine is SO ADDICTIVE that people are hooked just cannot overcome that addiction no matter how hard they try. I know people who stopped cold turkey, but also those who have tried stopping a hundred times without success. If e-cigarettes really are coming out next month (?) I would be the first to buy 5 packs (?) and offer one to every smoker I come in contact to during the day (at least 100). Well maybe not every one (due to the cost). But if such a product does come out, then the statute of limitations (blowing nicotined tobacco smoke all over the place) should be severly curbed. They did it in Chiyoda Ward, why not other places? 1st hand smoke kills, 2nd hand smoke kills, and 3rd hand smoke (why people have to wash their hair, or feel uncomfortable if walking into a room where the former two have take place) can make you feel sick. Smoke and flatulance are two different matters. Both stink to high heaven (except if its your own), but fortunately, flatulance is much easier self-controlled. Smoking is not. And to those who say smoking doesn't kill or injure, even the non-smoker, the case of the life-long musician, or suffering familiy member who never smoked but was subject to speaks volumes. Finally, we all have our own experience. Come ON e-tobacco, make your impact. Come on, Hatoyama while you still have time, make a stand on this issue as well as your others on the plate. Just make a top 10-20 list like Dave Letterman used to, and tackle this issue. It'll make Japan much more friendly to foreigners. I never knew Netherlands was so pro-smoke. These blogs can be very informative.

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Instead of calling non-smokers "monsters," nicotine addicts should be attacking the cigarette companies that gave them this dangerous and expensive habit. The smoking lobby is trying to make this into a liberty issue, but there's no liberty for smokers. They simply have to smoke. I recall that a chain smoker in New Zealand sued a tobacco company a few years ago after smoking-related circulation problems caused her to lose most of her fingers and toes, in addition to the usual lung cancer. Her case was thrown out after she was caught smoking in the toilet during recess. That's how addictive this stuff is. Remember the Marlboro Man.

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Well go on then, RUN.

Run as far away from me as you can, you dirty fool with your foul stench of stale tobacco smoke that wafts around you constantly. (JT, tobacco smoke stains clothing and everything else. Therefore, using the term dirty to describe someone producing tobacco smoke is not unreasonable.)

If not wanting myself and my kids to breathe in your foul odours makes me a monster, then so be it. I'd rather be a monster than allow you to pollute the air my kids are breathing and damage their respiratory systems.

To me, people who smoke are monsters, and the companies that get rich off them even more so.

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The real "monsters" are those selfish people who insist on smoking and polluting the air that we breathe in various places. Despite what this stupid, know-nothing journalist says, there is plenty of accredited evidence that passive smoking, or second hand smoke, causes illness and death. Smokers can and must submit to the will of the majority ofsensible people everywhere, who want this disgusting drug habit banned.

Smoking causes pollution? On a scale equivalent to maybe...say cars? I think you're blowing it out of proportion. I think everyone in the world knows that second hand smoke is bad...you don't need to repeat the same thing like a politician. There is evidence that it causes harmful side effects but as the author and others have said, where will this stop? This is all about cause and effects. Since smoking is bad for you, we're gonna make you stop. The we in that sentence being people like you realist. Then are you going to ban alcohol because it leads to dumb decisions and alcoholism? Are you going to ban cars because it pollutes the air just like smoking...like you said? There has to be a line...and people are crossing it right now by banning an person's individual decision. To defend myself, I have never smoked in the presence of children. I at least understand that much.

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No, we're not after banning alcohol, just smoke, tobacco/nicotine loaded smoke that is friggin penetrating my lungs if I don't hold my breath (and how long can I do that before I have no alternative?!). Smoke, smoke, smoke, damage my lungs, your lungs and the lungs of everyother human around. Addiction, your addiction, don't spread it around. Nice wording by the way, "I think you're BLOWING it out of proportion". Just stop blowing tobacco/nicotine and your fuzzy logic about it to those of us who have a right to be non-takers, O.K.? Is that so hard to understand? We're not communists, or fascists, or anti-Sarah Palin left wingers. We just hate the effects of being exposed to the xxx stuff. Get it? Over and over and over again. Smokers just don't see how their "one" picky-iu-nish cigi-butt can do any harm? That's what addiction does to a person. They think they're "entitled" as one celebrity in the news put it recently.

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I find smoking particularly revolting, but then I'm an ex-smoker. The fact that 60% of people don't smoke and yet non smokers get a tiny part of a bar to crouch in while the smokers get 90% of it is a little unfair. To have to work in constant smoky conditions for non smoking bar staff must be rotten. Going back to the UK to drink in a pub without going home with the stench of other people's smoke is rather nice. Changing the law here wouldn't necessarily lead to other draconian laws - that's just silly and using the Niemoller quote is misguided. Nobody's going to take away free speech - but even if they did it's not like most people in Japan would notice it in such a rigidly controlled society. One thing the J-government could do is start putting up the taxes on cigarettes more in line with other developed country - it would certainly help bring down the titanic national debt or pay for a few pensions..

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Oddly, I'm a smoker and do so for reasons I believe are more out of habit than addiction and have smoked for years. Yet, if I know I can't smoke in certain venues (i.e. airplanes), it doesn't bother me one bit. So I support these no smoking laws even as a smoker. Even if they banned smoking as illegal across the board, wouldn't phase me one bit. Yet, if I know I am permitted to smoke, I will do so. I never smoked at work for years even before the ban took place.

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Support all restaurants and pubs and hotels with non-smoking policies, and tell all your friends. Come on Japan, get with it! No Smoking in any public places.

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One of the fun things in life is squirting my water pistol at lit cigarettes. The look of surprise on the smokers' faces is priceless.

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kp123 - if you only smoke during work breaks, or the occasional social gathering, then yes, it is likely habit more than addiction, and you could probably quit with relative ease (as compared to heavy smokers).

If only more people were habitual smokers and not addictive smokers (for lack of a better term), I doubt there would be much controversy and certainly less second hand smoke.

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I could care less if second hand smoke causes any kind of disease. Cigarette smoke smells terrible, unless of course your addicted to it.

Just yesterday morning I was enjoying nice peaceful moment in a park under a cherry tree. Some fool sits on a bench upwind and lights up. Ruined everything. Certainly I'm not advocating laws against smoking in public, but smokers gotta know that they aren't completely innocent, they are annoying to many people, just like those that yack on their cell phones next to you on the train.

And you smokers just gotta accept that if you walk around annoying people, there's gonna be some response. Some people are going to annoy you right back. You guys stink, literally.

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I wonder why smoking is demonized but not alcohol. I've yet to hear of someone having a smoke and then beating up their spouse.

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Lunchmeat, are you meatloff or just plain imitation? In 99.9% of the cases, smoking rules the smoker from early a.m. to late night p.m. and everywhere a smoker goes. There's nothing idyllic about it. Its the controlling master in a smokers life. Take away the cigi-butts, and their rubbing their pockets, lips, underarms, etc. for the life of them till they satisfy that craving by one means and one means only. Another breath of cigi-butt. And it affects all in their wake. I like the term "innocent" concerning smokers. They feel their innocent little cigi-butt is so charming and cute and loveable to everyone. What a racket! Drunken abuse has a differet set of "demonizing". Never heard of the Alcohol Annonymous World wide group? Please don't compare apples with oranges. looking for a loophole. ...for your next cigi-butt "break", should be called "fix".

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lunchmeat: Their spouse got spanked after drinking AND smoking.

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Smoking around other people's kids in the park drives me nuts but I'll put up. When the but is flicked that's the open door to call them to the carpet and I'll speak my mind. Why the people of Japan are content on having their country an open sore but filled ashtray is beyond me. Tobacco companies should give away ashtrays as promos but they don't. I actually had someone phone JT one time to discuss that.

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"I wonder why smoking is demonized but not alcohol." Last time I checked, I'm not allowed to take a 10 minute break from work to go have a swig of whiskey, I'd be fired on the spot if I did so. If I drive after drinking ANY alcohol (regardless of whether I'm drunk) then I'll lose my license and possibly go to gaol.

Alcohol is already "banned" from situations where it can hurt people other than the consumer. Anti-smoking saviours are simply asking for the same rules to be applied to tobacco. No 10 minute smoke-o, no smoking in the car with kids, no smoking in family restaurants, no smoking in the park next to my kids.

I know people who have stopped smoking (or control their smoking so that they don't do it during work hours, or around other people unless it's at the smoker's pit.) It's not THAT hard, and I think regulations will simply make it clear to the people who lack the decency to restrict their smoking, that their behaviour is unacceptable. All smokers seem to claim to be victims! If the majority of you had curbed your habit, then it wouldn't have gotten to the stage where it needs to be banned... simple as that.

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. Alcohol is not relevant to this discussion.

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A lot of people on this board still forget that they are guests in this country, nobody in particulair is waiting for your opinions! Take your anti tabacco stance and your squirt gun back home and leave this battle to the natives. When the japanese go after your gunlaws in the USA nobody would accept that now would they? That's why anti smoking crusaders should stay home, or ignore the smoke and enjoy the safety here. By the way why are the moderators not strict on name calling when it's an antismoker who writes "fool"?

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Nagoyalove has a point. Am I guest here? I pay taxes. I live here. I would vote too if only the "natives" would allow it. I just take what is common sense in the playground and say hey look, that's trash, who's going to clean that? And around the kids? What are you thinking? Let's clean it up. (like talking to 12 year olds some times). Dunno, maybe J toddlers and their parents are smarter than the American ones, haven't seen the J-stats, but there are close calls and choking deaths attributed to discarded cigi-buts in the US every year. So.. the kids should just in, eh?

The erosion of the US gun laws is happening from within actually. The population there could probably use a wake up call.

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Actually, opinions is what this blog is for. As for anti-smokers having a say, if they are residents in Japan, of course they can complain about it and even support Japanese who feel the same way. While I respect your opinions, I think many folks find it difficult to ignore smoke when they wind up covered in it just because they chose to dine at a family restaurant or have a coffee somewhere. Smokers should be allowed to smoke, yes, but not everywhere.

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Nagoyalove nagoya love, where art though Nagoya love? "Take your bla bla blan and leave this battle to the natives." Who is reading and commenting on this article nagoyalove, the natives? I don't think so, do you? So is it alright with you, Nagoyalove, if we express ourselves as we live in these conditions? Or need we apply with your countenance for permission before stating our feelings?

Did you read the article to begin with Nagoyalove? And do you agree with it? Obviously something struck a chord, or are you just upset that nonsmokers (natives and nonnatives alike) have a point thats too overwhelmingly sound to go unrecognized any longer?

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Lol kids choking on cig butts? Any argument is allowed ne? This is just a case of bad parenting, you're going after candies and ice cubes too? Sure discussing on this board is what it is intend for, unfortunately lots of folks here don't discuss, they vent their dissatisfaction and worse some even think they have the right to confront smokers in real life.

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With regard to smoking, it's public policy that is slowly being introduced by Japanese authorities. I'm not trying to tell them what to do; they've banned smoking on trains/subways/shinkansens already. Now some prefectures are banning smoking. I'm not criticising Japan, I'm saying I like the policies that the Japanese people are introducing.

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Nagoyalove must be one of Saito's drinking (and smoking?) partners. Comparing smoking in public to carrying handguns. "....folks here don't discuss, they vent....and worse some even think.....who's venting?" Doubtful about the chips for schoollunch comment. Its just an example that you can't tell a smoker anything they don't want to hear about. Where is this dude (I imagine its a male) coming from?

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...and worse some even think they have the right to confront smokers in real life

Yeah, you`re right Nagoyalove. When my baby wound up covered in ash I should have just apologised to the smoker for putting my baby in his way and walked away, "ne"?

Or is that another useless comment? I shouldn`t really be entitled to an opinion at all really, should I? As a "guest" who has only lived here 9 years, paid taxes, married a Japanese and got PR.

Oops, sorry guys! Now I`m venting!

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By the way why are the moderators not strict on name calling when it's an antismoker who writes "fool"?

Coz it's not so much name-calling as simply the truth? Anyone who takes up the smoking habit, knowing what we know about its effects, is a fool.

worse some even think they have the right to confront smokers in real life.

When the smokers are polluting my air and threatening to bring on my asthma, too right I have the right to confront them.

I'm impressed that kirakira did no more than yell at the ash-flicking ignorant ba#$%$d in bad Japanese. That shows extreme self-control.

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Sensitive aren't we? Sure if a guy drops ash on your baby you have all the right to hook him one, but that's no reason to hate all smokers, but if YOU think that's a valid reason... Good on you love. The other poster just confirms my point, ya'all too emotional about this thing and get personal too easy. Where am I from? I am not asking you am I, neither am I interested because one voice doesn't represent a country. But I can tell you that I'm a no smoker, with smoking friends who respect my position and my vices and I put up with theirs and don't get in their faces.

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Nagoyalove, try being laid up wheezing and off work for three days thanks to some fool's second-hand smoke, you'll find it's pretty easy to get personal and even emotional.

I'm not talking about 'ciggies are smelly and I don't like the smell', I'm talking about someone else's filthy habit seriously affecting my health and costing me hard cash, in hospital bills and time off work. Friends who smoke? Not possible. Can't spend time in the same room as a lit ciggie, and having folk popping out every few minutes to get another fix isn't conducive to social intercourse.

And if being a 'guest' (which is a rubbish idea in the first place, we pay our taxes, look after our families and have a stamp in our passport that says 'permanent') means folk should put up and shut up, remember a lot of Japanese - our families - are also dependent on us 'guests' being in good health.

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Nagoyalove, anyone who takes up a habit which they know is addictive, which they know may well ruin their health or even possibly kill them, is surely doing something foolish? If they're doing something foolish, then they surely are, at least in one way if not in others, a fool.

Certainly the tobacco companies think so, and they're loving it. (All the way to the bank.)

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and don't get in their faces.

Ah, the irony. Non-smokers just about NEVER 'get in the faces' of smokers who light up near them, causing them great discomfort and actual physical harm. However, smokers' smoke, nicotine and other carcinagenic substances get 'in the faces' of EVERYONE - not to mention their eyes, lungs, throat, bloodstream - and if they're pregnant, the bloodstream of their baby.

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For the record though, I completely agree that smoking should be banned from public places and on the street, except for designated areas....but Im against demonizing smokers and calling them names just because I dont smoke. And if they invade my comfort/health zone , which includes smoking near my kids Ill ask them friendly to stop or move away. And if that doesnt help I can always get aggressive.

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Hey, I like smelling clean air. Sorry, Im not so forgiving to chain smokers, who throw their cigarette butts all over the place and stink up the train cars.

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Hey, I like smelling clean air.

No such thing. It's a matter of opinion. Ask any young'un.

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http://www.cityofcalabasas.com/secondhandsmoke.html

"Smoking scofflaws face warnings, fines of up to $500 for repeat offenses, and misdemeanor charges."

Freedom-wise, just imagine what's next.

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Sensing a shift in the way the wind is blowing, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has proposed a bill in the National Diet to ban smoking in the workplace, which it hopes to get enacted by next year. It’s entirely possible this may lead to an eventual ban on smoking in commercial areas such as restaurants and hotels.

most sensible thing to come out of any ministry in years. Due to it's addictive properties I don't understand how tobacco is not classified as a drug and outlawed.

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They already have banned speaking on trains. In Japan no-one speaks to anyone about anything!!!

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About time. You'd think that given the tough drug laws in Japan that more laws against smoking in public would be passed, but then I guess it boils down to the Americans. When they occupied Japan they restricted the cultivation of hemp, but as for cigarettes the Americans have absolutely no commercial interest in them at all...

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Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco et al work very hard on keeping the good folks addicted. It's all chemical, very high tech. The social aspects are also very well managed. Think, why would a candy package for kids need to be wrapped similar to a pack of smokes? In my day we had Popeye cigi candy sticks which would appear in our corner stores. Me ma told me to watch for that. Keep an eye out along the lower shelves in the candy store.

Any argument? Sure. Leave a cigarette but a bowl of water for a few hours see what you get. It could kill you. If Nagoyalove thinks it's fine for strangers use the kids playground equipment as an ashtray -when kids are there -day after day, I am sorry but I am going speak up. It's common sense.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5501615_symptoms-nicotine-poisoning.html

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My father died of a heart attach which doctors said was helped out by smoking. My Grandfather same. My Grandmother died a long slow death by lung cancer. Something so horrific that I will never forget her suffering. So I am a vigilent anti-smoker.

Smokers if you are brain dead enough to risk the proven health risks of smoking then that is your decision. But if you are a parent, a partner or a family member, then your idiocy impacts others too. They will have to watch you suffer and die, they may be exposed to the same risks thanks to your selfish habit. And the costs in health care impact all of us.

So if it were up to me smoking would be banned to all but designated spots where the foolish smokers can commune and share their second hand smoke. It would be illegal to smoke around non-smokers and punishable under the same laws that govern other physical assaults. Afterall your second hand smoke threatens our health and we should be empowered to respond with the same force we would use to protect ourselves from other physical threats to health.

So bottom line, I am an anti-smoking monster. I ban it at our events, no one smokes in or around my home and office and we apply significant pressure to smokers we know to stop for their own good and the welfare of their loved ones. And I will back any legislation or efforts to permanently ban smoking everywere.

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@tkoind2 - And this is where people cross the line: "...and we apply significant pressure to smokers we know to stop for their own good and the welfare of their loved ones. "

In my experience as a smoker what people mean when they say "apply significant pressure" is that they harass you until you're forced to lie to them and say you no longer smoke. They then feel good because they've "saved" another smoker and I feel lousy for having to lie to someone. Well done anti-smokers, apparently your feelings and happiness are more important than mine.

In another few decades we'll know that if you live in a big city the air pollution is equivalent to 20 to 30 cigarettes a day, so the diffused second hand smoke from a smoker is adding precisely zero to your risk. Sometimes I wish people would use a little common sense instead of leaping on the latest "pet peeve" bandwagon without thinking. Anti-smoking monsters aren't people, they're sheeple (sheep people), prepared to believe whatever distorted view of the universe the mainstream media is currently serving up pre-masticated and devoid of any factual content for them to swallow.

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"apparently your feelings and happiness are more important than mine."

When it comes to second hand smoke you bet our feelings and happiness are more important than yours! You want to kill yourself then do it in private and don't force your health risks on others. Period!

You can rationalize smoking all you want. But bottom line is that it is an unhealthy addiction that you need to stop. And if you can't do it on your own, get help.

Smokers and their second hand smoke endanger non-smokers and increase the risk of cancer. Many smokers do so around their kids or in offices where non-smokers cannot escape to protect their own health. This is wrong! Likewise why do we have to tolerate this filthy habit in restaurants, cafes and bars?

The laws in my home town now look past the hopless rationalization by smokers to preserve their right to poison themselves. Instead the law now protects the majority. You cannot smoke in any public place. Cannot smoke on the street and can ONLY smoke in designated places that do not impact non-smokers. This is intelligent and correct policy to address this social ill.

Now as for your rationalization of pollution. You assume that we are not equally engaged in trying to reduce pollution as well. Human beings should be trying to reduce our health risks not rationalize or tolerate them. Your use of this argument makes no sense as the comparrison is irrelevant. Smoking is something you can control and those of us who do not smoke have every right to assure that you do not expose us to your bad habit. Equally we should all be fighting hard to reduce air pollution and environmental damage. You can just toss smoking in with that.

While I respect your right to kill yourself with smoking, you must respect our right to say that you must do so in a place where it does not harm or expose others. You should get to like this policy as it will soon be inescapable even in Japan.

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Smoking is an a disease. It's an addiction and I feel sorry for Frungy (but that's inside of me, misplaced or not it's my own set of beliefs). At the same time I respect his choice. I am all for free will. If Frungy is informed, conscientious, considerate of others, then why not? Enjoy!

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stipend,

We are forced to inhale thousands of carcinogins from his buring tobacco, we are forced to face the thousands of butts littering everywhere in Japan and the water pollution it causes when tobacco enters the waste water system and we are forced to pay for his lung cancer through taxes. If and when Frungy smokes safely, picks up litter daily and pays the full cost of his own addiction then its live and let live. Meanwhile smokers are parasites on society and polluters of our common resources.

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Yes but tbird, I dont agree with your bottom line theory. If you want the evidence you have to be a smoker for me to share it with you, or you wont understand.

Which way of making energy exactly is kind to the air? Go switch off your computor now! There is certain hazards that arise from the electricity. I can handle them, you obviously cant. Could even be doing an overdose there youd better be careful. Or maybe you could balance your electricity wave overdose with some good ole smoke that is visible and youll be balanced like the rest of us!

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zurcronium is right. Like it or not smoking is a choice. And it is a choice with personal and public consequences. For you smokers it means a slow form of suicide. For people around you it means exposure to health dangers. For society it means a public nuisance as well as health risk. And for the public it means cost in both collective medical care costs and the impact of sick and dying smokers upon families and related social programs.

It is a plague no less damaging than any other disease. It needs to be treated and erradicated. Smokers need to quarantined when engaging in their habit. And significal social, legal and financial consequences should be put in place to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke. Including protections for the children and family members of smokers.

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Yeah right thats what you think, that smokers are on a suicide cause. Its ok I disagree with you. Some people who talk too much are suicidal too. Though going by your mentality we could possibly ban mobile phones from public places too-and I wouldnt mind that.

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What this really comes down to is a balance of personal rights. We are all human beings on this earth and we have to share the same air. Of course people have the right to consume and inhale into their bodies whatever they wish. But when you are forcing someone else to consume or inhale some substance into their body, you are violating that person's rights.

So for enclosed spaces, yes, I think smoking should be banned. And for outdoor areas, designated smoking areas is probably the best we can do.

Honestly, I feel that non-smokers rights have been violated for long enough so it's no wonder that they feel passionate about this issue. The only reason that paranoid smokers are calling these people 'monsters' is because they are terrified that their fix will be taken away from them.

Coming from Canada, it was shocking at first to see how acceptable smoking is here. I have been a smoker, then a non-smoker, a smoker and now a non-smoker again. However, I've always been aware of what a filthy and unhealthy habit it is. Any smoker who thinks they are not affecting both themselves and others with their habit is totally deluded. It's time for the balance to be restored.

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Meh so the crux... I'm happy that people are calling us all "monsters." I think this is proof that the pressure is mounting, and smokers are finding that people have the guts to stand up to them.

In the past it was silence that made smoking continue. Kids in cars... mum/dad would just smoke all over them... "shut up" if they complain. Public transport, restaurants, offices... you name it, nobody said anything. Now even in Japan, it's changing. I'm proud that Japanese people are showing some guts and saying "NO, DON'T SMOKE ALL OVER ME!" They have the right to, and should be encouraged to do so rather than staying silent, in fear that they might be showing disrespect towards them. I say good! They're disrespecting you in every way... why should you show them respect?

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If only smokers can swallow their own smoke

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The nuisance and health damage caused by smokers is only part of the picture. What about all the fires they cause? In just about every fire report I read, the cause is a discarded butt or some idiot smoking in bed. I'm amazed the Japanese are so tolerant, given their traditional horror of fires in their cities.

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Dolphingirl. Your posts are always wonderful. Thank you.

I think I feel particualary edgy about this topic because of the personal losses I have had due to smoking.

My Grandmother is a classic example of the horror of smoking. She grew up when the media said smoking was ok. But soon learned from her own losses that it was not. She smoked around us as kids. Even when she was on cancer treatment she still smoked. The addiction was that powerful.

In the end we watched her decline from a vibrant and warm person to a sedated, shaking and discolored human being living in a nightmare of drugs and pain for months before she finally gave in and passed away.

I blame the cigarette companies for lying to her generation about the health risks. I blame our government for not taking better steps to educate people and to fight smoking. I blame her for smoking and for not working harder to give it up when she tried years before her death.

I loved her very much, as I am sure many people love you other smokers out there. There is very little you can do that is worst for your loved ones than to force them to watch you go through death because you smoke. Their love for you will hurt them deeply to see you suffer so.

So rationalize your smoking all you want. But it is hardly victimless. Your second hand smoke can kill. Your behavior tramples on the rights of non-smokers, your behavior has real costs for society and the emotional human toll you take on loved ones is barbaric for unnecessary reasons.

Just stop, do the work and stop. I know many people who have. It is possible and it is a testimony to their strength. Time for others to step up too.

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tkoind2: Thanks. Same to you!

I totally agree with you on almost everything. The only thing I would dispute is the point about pressuring others to quit. I think I would go with 'gentle encouragement' instead. As an ex-smoker, I know that, although what my loved ones say is important and I do take their opinions to heart, ultimately a smoker has to make the choice him/herself and nagging someone to quit probably won't get you very far.

Both times I gave up smoking it was actually pretty easy...once I put my mind to it, that is. Each time I made a conscious decision that I wanted to be a non-smoker and I wouldn't allow myself and excuses, justifications or other forms of mind-screwing. My husband still smokes a little and I am not going to make him quit...but I did tell him the other day how great I feel now that I am breathing freely and free of the addiction! I think the subtle approach is more effective and he will eventually come around on his own, in his own time...

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I wish the soft approach would work. And where possible I do agree with you that it is better. But the sad truth is that it has taken strong social and legal action to curtail public smoking and to protect the health of nonsmokers from this habit.

In my home town all bars, restaurants and public spaces are now smoke free. Before non-smokers had to choose between not going out and exposing themeselves to relentless second hand smoke.

We have to enact laws that protect nonsmokers from this minority of smokers. No smoking in public places, no smoking on the streets. Only smoking in designated areas.

And it needs to go beyond this to include severe penalties for people who smoke around children. And legal means for spouses or partners to assure that smoking in the home is regulated as well.

Smoking is like heroin for a lot of people. The soft approach will not cure the addiction. Only strong restrictions to assure that the addiction has less impact upon others.

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This Saito jerk who is so anti-anti-smoking will probably go down the same path as Chikushi Tetsuya - dead from lung cancer. He also puts forward the "culture" argument - I have heard that somewhere before.

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Laws have to be practical. Having a fine might be a start (what's the point of bylaws without fines??). A heavy fine for blowing smoke? Next they'll be impounding bicycles charging 2,500 for their return. Oh wait.. they are doing that. I was late, had to get to the stn quickly on the wrong day.. It just makes life miserable, people become resentful. It's counter productive.

Why is there not a movement to start make it less socially acceptable? On the platform once tagged a jr high school coach, his young charges in tow all looking up to him smoking under a No Smoking sign. I have never ever seen anyone go up to a smoker and say hey, there's the sign, no smoking here please. Are people actually doing that? Has anyone seen that? I have yet to see anyone in all my years. What it comes down to for me is if it affects me and it's a no smoking area I'll have some words. Otherwise, where I am it just seems to be chronic. More and more areas are no smoking areas and that may be helping but it's been glacial. Also, as a result, our poor park has received the but end it.

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There's always ASS to add a giggle to the mix: http://www.asssociety.com/ And as they show, even e-cigs are not safe! One in the eye for the headless smoking monsters. As an ex-smoker I find smokers' arguments asinine, especially the one about rights, as non-smokers' rights are trampled on whenever someone lights up anywhere! Just give up the habit.

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Reality check non-smokers, you can't inspire politeness in others by being impolite and abrasive, you'll just lead by example and get more inconsiderate smokers who feel 100% justified because of the impoliteness they encounter from others. Ask nicely and you'll have far more luck. Just because I'm a smoker doesn't mean I'm not entitled to a little human courtesy.

Next time you're inclined to bully, harass or chastise someone just think how successful these tactics generally are at inducing a real change in someone's behaviour. They're not. Kindness and a polite request are almost never refused (especially in Japan), but rudeness and insensitivity just breed the same.

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I have never ever seen anyone go up to a smoker and say hey, there's the sign, no smoking here please. Are people actually doing that? Has anyone seen that?

Next to my son's school there is a playground and an art college. Once a bunch of art students where using this playground as their outdoors smoking area. In my pigeon Japanese I pointed out the children and asked if they could not smoke there. They apologetically moved on - so yes it can be done.

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Sorry dolphin girl you sounded good till you used the word deluded. I think it is deluded to blame only tobacco, and deluded to ignore all the cases of people who smoke and have no health problems, and questions the hazard case. While I think common sense ought to be used about smoking,the whereabouts, I think it is delusional to have government intervention to create a common agreement about it. Next thing you know theyll be governing how many kids you have and would they say it is a health hazard?

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illsait: I think you are missing the point which is that second-hand smoke contributes to health problems; especially for children. It's perfectly reasonable for the government to ban smoking in the workplace and in other public places. Deluded is a very appropriate word in my opinion. People now are very aware that smoking is bad for you yet they do it anyway. Obviously they don't have 'common sense' or they wouldn't be smoking in places where nonsmokers are. Arguing that this could lead to the government controlling other areas of our lives has no logic whatsoever.

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I have a Japanese friend in his late 40s. Both his parents smoked around him since infancy. In fact, I think his mother smoked during pregnancy. It's no surprise that he's totally addicted to tobacco. What's more, he looks closer to 60 than 50. He's always been slender, but now he'd downright haggard. I think there are plenty of middle-aged people in Japan who, like him, will pay a high price for the previous generation's lack of awareness of the dangers of smoking.

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As widely acknowledged, smoking is a habit; people engage in it quite automatically, that is, without a lot of deliberation. An urge appears, you take out your pack and light up.

Obviously, smoking bears a lot of similarities to other addiction-like behaviour which can affect your health, such as eating tasty but unhealthy junk food. The general mechanism is the same: you see the cookies, salivate, and reach for them. Yum!

Considering this "automaticity" of addictions, one of the major benefits of anti-smoking laws is that such laws make the decision to smoke more conscious. You will literally have to go out of your way to the smoking area and smoke there, you will need to plan when to smoke so as not to disrupt your work schedule etc.

This in itself is quite a progress in helping people to quit. Making smoking more cumbersome in various ways is just like hiding those cookies at the back of your cupboard so that it's not easy for you to reach for them and gobble them up.

Laws, bans, and ordinances for restricted smoking not only change the concrete social norms about when and where it is acceptable to smoke, but, more importantly, such legislation changes the general perception of HOW acceptable it is to smoke at all.

A small study I did a couple of years ago in Tokyo showed that having only 1 friend, relative, romantic partner etc. in your social circle who smokes makes you about 7 times (!) more likely to be a smoker than a non-smoker. In other words, among people who have 1 or more close others who smoke, 7 out of 10 were smokers. Among people who did not have even 1 close other who smokes, 1 out of 10 was a smoker.

What your close others do DOES influence what you (choose to) do enormously. Beyond personal nagging by your friend or partner, what society can for smokers is to create a climate that encourages you as a smoker to quit. And this is where anti-smoking laws come into play, as I see it.

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I have never ever seen anyone go up to a smoker and say hey, there's the sign, no smoking here please. Are people actually doing that?

I tried that once, and the man started screaming and yelling at me, blowing his smoke in my face.. it was awful, and the police came. Guess what they did? Nothing. Even though we were right next to a non-smoking sign. It's ridiculous.

Ever since then, I have had the waiting staff or station attendants or police tell someone for me. But they are often hard to find and all I can do is give them dirty looks. It is really annoying.

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smoke if you want, be an idiot if you want. do either around me and I'll be kind enough to try and convert you

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baka, the next time a smoker starts screaming and yelling at you for asking him ( or her ) not to smoke in a no-smoking area, scream even louder until either he/she puts out the cig or leaves, or until the cops come.

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Oh no, I don't want to sink down to his/her level and scream back. It seems really immature, and I'd like to think that I can handle myself more politely. I don't know what to do, though, other than talk to people in charge or support the ones trying to pass the laws.

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Next time you're inclined to bully, harass or chastise someone just think how successful these tactics generally are at inducing a real change in someone's behaviour.

Strange, anyone I have ever seen or heard politely telling a smoker that they are in a non-smoking zone or even point out where the smoking area is, was either given a dirty look and were ignored or were yelled at. Unfortunately for me, I am someone who is very uncomfortable with confrontation so I refrain from asking for my rights as someone who chose not to be a smoker.

Fair enough, while some folks on here say they had no trouble quitting once they made their mind up or that they have no trouble going without a cigarette for extended periods, not all smokers can do that; everyone's body is different with regard to addiction. I totally understand how addictive smoking can be for some (grew up with a smoking parent who constantly tried to quit). So those folks who can't kick the habit and choose to continue smoking need a place to smoke. It is the smokers who don't care about anyone else who need to be told how to practice some etiquette and not smother the clothes and hair and lungs of the rest of us in smoke.

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Nice to see we don't even have to wait for comments before Godwin's law surfaces.

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Poor frungy, getting all upset cause his ego is bruised. The words on this board do not cause second hand cancer like the poisons from your smoking dependency.

When smokers whine, its all about the nicotine habit. Its no different than if they were shooting up heroin and defending that addiction.

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I never thought I was addicted, who suggested it is an addiction? I always liked smoking. Enjoy it. Can stop at my own will. And sorry dolphingirl as I mentioned earlier I dont agree with the health hazard attitude. People keep throwing up cases where they think that the only cause was tobacco is ridiculous. For every suggested case, I can think of another case whereby somebody has smoked, or been in passive smoking circumstances, and they have not been affected. I think there is denial of more underlying problems that cause medical concerns, but tobacco is the convenient blame. The suggestion that what we think, influences our bodies health, I believe is a greater contributor to health hazards; and while the suggestion made by non-smokers is so monster-like, I think it would be hard for a lot of smokers to admit that the monsters accusations are what cause the problems more than the actual tobacco.

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In an ideal world, smokers and non-smokers alike would have respect for one another. Frungy does have a point; either side could learn more if the other were less in-your-face and pushy. Not saying you'd change the other person's mind, but a little tact doesn't hurt. But what am I saying, it's not an ideal world.

On a lighter note, if you're at a yakiniku place would all of that smell of gyuutan and bulgogi be considered second-hand smoke?

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Stop smoking or pay heavy fines period!

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I never thought I was addicted, who suggested it is an addiction? I always liked smoking. Enjoy it. Can stop at my own will.

That is hilarious, illsayit. I am sure you are not addicted, but you might want to choose phrasing a little different than every addict in denial uses. If you can stop at your own will, prove it. LOL. Seriously though, perhaps you are not addicted, perhaps it doesn't affect you so much. But not everyone is you. Every person is different and can be affected in different ways by smoke, alcohol, stress...bla bla bla...our bodies and minds react and can handle it in varying degrees. Most smokers are addicted to the nicotine while some are not.

Perhaps illsayit, you don't agree with the health hazard issue. Good point. Science is just stupid, isn't it? I mean, the fact that, when my father still used to smoke in the house, my mother developed throat problems, was called a liar by the doctor who performed the throat scope when she told the doc that she has never smoked a cigarette in her life. Then, miraculously, it got better in leaps and bounds after my father ceased smoking around her...yeah, it's all ridiculous. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Look, all smokers can disagree all they want with the health hazard issue and sure, tobacco might not be the only cause for some things, but it is a main factor in many problems. Normal, healthy everyday living doesn't cause a build-up of tar in the lungs. Not sure what does, since smoking doesn't, according to your theory. Maybe because people heard of tar building up in the lungs, the suggestion then planted firmly in their heads, their lungs just magically produced tar on their own. Maybe someone who heard the suggestion that nicotine and carbon monoxide increases blood pressure wouldn't have developed high blood pressure if no one educated them that it was so.

But wait a minute! If the power of suggestion is so strong, why did so many people develop a build-up of tar in their lungs, lung cancer, ephysema, and so on back when everyone was told that smoking was healthy? I guess people back then weren't so susceptible to the power of suggestion and became sick despite the proclaimed health benefits of tobacco.

Sorry, but the argument is a really weak one. Nice try though.

I have no problem with people smoking but I have a huge problem with folks who don't keep it to themselves.

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illsayit: When you smoke next to me you are imposing your habit on me. You are endangering my health and well being. You are violating my right to clean air. And you are invading my body with poisons that I have not agreed to.

I am sick to death of smokers rationalizing their addiction. "I can stop when I want to." Prove it! My guess is your body, like very other human body, will respond harshly to the sudden stop in addictive substances. Care to put your money where your mouth is on this one?

I feel very justified in telling smokers to knock that off around me. You are threatening me and I have every right to defend my health and well being.

So stay in your home, go to a designated smoking spot, pay for your downstream health problems out of your own pocket and you can smoke yourself into a blacked crust any time you like. But endanger me, my family, my work place, the public spaces where we all have a right to be free from assault and you transgress against my rights and I assure you I will point it out to you.

We have smokers on the run and it will not end until you smokers are either forced into seclusion to engage in you filthy habit or you wise up and take better care of yourselves. The global trend is against you, get used to it, it will get harder and harder to smoke.

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Raise the taxes on the smokes... in Japan there's no tax on tobacco, so I have to pay their taxes. Health insurance is 40,000 yen a month for me, and all it does is pay for people who are sick because they smoke. Everybody in Australia gets more comprehensive insurance for free... oh and cigarettes are about $15 a packet rather than $1.50...

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@Bipedal - And once you've got that cookie jar down from the top shelf behind everything do you have one cookie or 10? I'm betting you grab a handful because you're not actually committed to dieting, but rather trying to substitute an impediment for actual commitment. The same applies to smokers. Most of them chain smoke when they reach the smoking area because they don't want to quit and their systems are nicotine starved. This means that instead of smoking one cigarette an hour they get off the 3 hour train ride and smoke six in a row. I have a maxim, "Never go shopping when you're hungry", because when you get home you tend to find you've bought enough to feed three times the number of people. The same applies to smoking, if you let someone reach their withdrawal point before they have a cigarette then they're far more likely to smoke heavily.

The bottom line for me is that I smoke less when I'm able to, and if someone asks me to not smoke in a smoking area then I am far more likely to oblige if I know there are other smoking areas nearby. However if there are fewer smoking areas and someone happens by who is a non-smoker and asks me not to smoke then I'll be the one asking them to please leave, because this is the only accessible smoking area.

Oh, and despite these policies the data shows that more and more people are smoking even in countries with these bans, so they're clearly not effective, and only an idiot pursues or supports an ineffective strategy.

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I hate smokers smoking everywhere they want. Especially now, when I am pregnant, I am very allergic to smoke. :(

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Anti-smokers, they're the new Crusaders.

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illsayit: When you smoke next to me you are imposing your habit on me. You are endangering my health and well being. You are violating my right to clean air. And you are invading my body with poisons that I have not agreed to.

WRONG. If a smoker comes into your house and smokes, then yes. If they are in a public place, it is your responsibility to act if it offends you - ask them not to smoke, or move.

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“Most people who smoke are low earners with a low academic record. I don’t want any working for me.”

Obama smokes. In this case, I agree.

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peachy: Nice one!

illsayit: Okay. Let's pretend for a moment then, that smoking is not a health hazard. Breathing in toxic fumes has no effect on the smokers lungs and has no effect on other people's lungs either. And when pack-day smokers wake up in the morning they are not coughing because they smoke 20 cigarettes every day. And the lung cancer was cause by them thinking that smoking causes lung cancer...non-smokers are still going to be annoyed when they are in an enclosed space with smokers because the smoke is smoke! Which means it's dirty and smelly and makes your clothes and hair dirty and smelly. And it's just plain rude to blow smoke into the air when you are sharing that space with another person.

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sorry for the typos! haven't had my coffee yet!!

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Being assertive doesn't mean being rude or aggressive. People in public can react unexpectedly so be aware. Look at least ready to stand up for yourself either mentally or physically. If it's affecting your space and you are in the right, what shame is there in confronting a smoker? You're probably doing the people around you a favor.

On the platform looking around.."Do you have an ashtray? Is there an ashtray around here? I don't think smoking is allowed here.. Ah, there's the sign. Please don't smoke here. Some people have allergies, like me." The worst I'll ever say in my discussion with a smoker is it's common sense, that's rude, or unbelievable!

When they stomp it out or flick it then you can say "Yuck, it's dirty." In many a case they will pick it up, carry it to the trash. Do I say thank you? Do I feel guilty? No. But I do say a polite "excuse me".

Tobacco companies are the monsters -pushing an addictive carcinogen -pushing to kids -exploiting the developing world -lying about effects of their product -chemically engineering their product to maximize its addictiveness -paying off the medical industry

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Tobacco companies are the monsters -pushing an addictive carcinogen -pushing to kids -exploiting the developing world -lying about effects of their product -chemically engineering their product to maximize its addictiveness -paying off the medical industry

Yes, the public had NO CLUE that smoking was bad for them. sure...

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If it's affecting your space and you are in the right, what shame is there in confronting a smoker?

Exactly. It's called communication, and I wish many of the complainers would try it.

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Raise the taxes on the smokes... in Japan there's no tax on tobacco, so I have to pay their taxes.

Japanese cig's are most definitely "taxed" in fact iirc the taxes collected from tobacco sales alone here in Japan comes out to something like 1% of all tax revenues collected by the government.

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Oh one other thing, again if memory serves me correctly, the government here owns something like 50% of JT and any new laws they choose to put into effect limiting smoking will just be cutting off one of their own sources of revenue.

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"Anti-smokers, they're the new Crusaders." Manfromamerica, if this were true a lot of swords would be involved in preventing second hand smoke. But it isn't the case.

The bottom line is this. You want to smoke, do it, but do it where it does not impact others. Period. So no smoking in public places. That simple. Second, if you insist upon smoking then you should be prepared to pay, out of pocket for your smoking related illnesses. Third you should be subject to penalty for forcing smoke upon children or anyone else who objects to breathing it. Finally, we will tax your smokes to pay for maintaining secure sites where you can smoke.

If you still insist upon slow suicide, then knock yourselves out and no one will bother you as long as you comply and smoke only where allowed to do so.

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On confrontation. A non-smoker should not have the burden to have to tell a smoker how to respect the rights of non-smokers not to have to breathe in their smoke. The burden should be on the active participant, in this case the smoker.

My female friends are shy and kind people who hate smoke but are not going to tell some salaryman to clue into the fact that his smoke is a problem. And they should not have to. The law should protect the environment without smoke. Period.

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You want to smoke, do it, but do it where it does not impact others. Period. So no smoking in public places.

Almost. If there are designated places to smoke or not smoke, the smoker should follow those. If not, then they are free to smoke.

. Second, if you insist upon smoking then you should be prepared to pay, out of pocket for your smoking related illnesses.

So you don't believe in universal health care.

Third you should be subject to penalty for forcing smoke upon children or anyone else who objects to breathing it.

Hello police state. What is this nonsense? Is smoking is permitted where they smoke, then smokers are free to smoke. If it bothers others, they are free to either 1) ask the smokers to refrain from smoking (however, smokers may do what they want), or 2)leave the area.

A non-smoker should not have the burden to have to tell a smoker how to respect the rights of non-smokers not to have to breathe in their smoke.

Of course they should. People are free to do what they want, and it is the obligation of the person offended to say something.

My female friends are shy and kind people who hate smoke but are not going to tell some salaryman to clue into the fact that his smoke is a problem.

Then they are childish and need to act like an adult. No one is going to take care of them their whole lives. Take personal responsibility like an adult.

The law should protect the environment without smoke.

Says who? The law permits smoking, cigarettes are LEGAL.

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tkoind2 - You know, maybe, just maybe, smokers are "kind people" too and will not smoke if you actually talk to them and ask them. Smokers are not mind-readers, however, so don't assume they will know your thoughts.

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Doesn't matter if they are kind. We know for a fact that their smoke is harmful. They have the burden of respecting the rights of nonsmokers who must take priority in not having to be needless exposed to health risks.

Non-smokers on the other hand are not exposing the smoker to risk by not smoking so the placement of burden is a nobrainer. Smokers are not mind readers, but they should exhibit the common sense to know that people around them should not have to ask to be free of poisons in their air. If you are outside a designated smoking location DONT SMOKE. Very simple to grasp I think.

Next... Universal health care. On the contrary I do support universal care. But I still believe that smokers needlessly burden the other tax payers by intentionally damanging themselves with smoking. The solution is to heavily tax tobacco and have those funds compensate the universal health care system. That is extremely fair.

Bottom line manfromamerica. If you are indeed American you know that smoking has been rolled back in most of the country to designated spots only. This is the rational approach to protecting the public from smoke while allowing you smokers to carry on with your habit. Like it or not, the law is predominantly in favor of this approach and will continue to be so. Japan is late to the game, but mark my words, change is on the way.

We are tired of you endangering our lives too. If you want to kill yourselves sucking away at those sticks then knock yourselves out, in designated protected areas that do not endanger the more rational public.

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manfromamerica...all very good points but the problem is, many smokers cop an attitude when asked not to smoke in an area that is neither designated non-smoking nor smoking. Of course smokers are people too...everyone knows that. Smoking does not make someone a bad person. The thing is, the "good smokers", (like my own father who hasn't smoked in anyone's home in decades; always goes outside) are not the ones who are imposing their smoke on others. It is those who are indifferent to the fact that children are near them, or they are next to other people, or who choose to scoff at non-smoking signs who are the problem. And some of we "childish" people who are shy for various reasons, have difficulty getting up the courage to ask someone to kindly smoke elsewhere when we have either witnessed or been personally subject to a barrage of abuse in such a situation.

For so many years now, non-smoking areas have been few and far between. Smoking is permitted in many places in Japan still. It is indeed changing and so it should. Non-smokers are the majority but they have been the ones who have been forced into the non-smoking areas. Why can't it be reversed? Shouldn't the majority of the population have a say? Make most places in public non-smoking and for a change, have the smokers seek out smoking areas. That is starting to happen in some places and I think it is totally fair. Smokers are in the minority should should be allotted space accordingly. Oops...I must be a "monster"; just suggested fair treatment for non-smokers even though suggesting smokers still get a place to smoke. Shame on me.

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well said peachy871! Welcome to the monster club. You are not alone. We are indeed the majority.

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They have the burden of respecting the rights of nonsmokers who must take priority in not having to be needless exposed to health risks.

No, they have the freedom to do whatever they want to provided it is legal.

If you are outside a designated smoking location DONT SMOKE. Very simple to grasp I think.

Or, if you are outside a designated non-smoking area, then it's OK to smoke. Either way, it's fine. But if smokers are doing something legal, it is the non-smokers who must act like adults and ask them to not smoke. You can't legislate people to be thoughtful and kind, no matter how hard the communists try.

Next... Universal health care. On the contrary I do support universal care.

I would reconsider your position if I were you. Universal coverage covers all, period. If you want to remove coverage for smokers, then you support removing coverage for a heck of alot of low-income and minority people.

If you are indeed American

Yes.

If you want to kill yourselves sucking away at those sticks then knock yourselves out, in designated protected areas that do not endanger the more rational public.

Yes they have the right to smoke. The issue is they can smoke in places where it is not specifically forbidden, as opposed to only is places where it is specifically allowed. The left-wing in general seem to believe there are no individual freedoms except those specifically mandated by action of the government. However most people think the government doesn't create individual freedom.

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peachy871 - good post. My point if you can't make people kind by law. I don't smoke, but I've never had people continue to smoke when I've asked them not too. The fact of life is, some people will be jerks. If that is the case, we deal with it accordingly.

That said, I support the Kanagawa ordinance.

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manfromamerica. First off no one said cut people off from universal health care. Read my post again. It says tax the hell out of tobacco and let that compensate the system for the added drain you smokers burden the system with. This is very very fair.

Thankfully your points about the so called "freedom" of people to smoke around others is exactly what the new laws are curtailing. In Seattle you cannot smoke on the street, in bars, in restaurants or in any other public space with the exception of designated sites for smokers.

Like it or not my friend, your days of being able to be "free" to impose your smoke on others are coming to an end. We know how harmful your smoke is even if you are in denial. And we will no longer tolerate the threat to our health and well being because you insist upon poisoning yourselves. Your arguments are empty, the trend is strongly against you as are increasing pressures to heavily tax and regulate tobacco. In the end the monsters win. It is inevitable so you should consider quitting or making sure you program those designated smoking spots into your navi now.

Finally, peachy871, my friends or no other people should have to ask smokers to stop smoking around them in public. You should have the common sense to not smoke when you expose others to it. They should not have to engage in confrontation to protect their health in public places. The burden is not rightfully theirs.

No I, on the other hand, am happy to ask nicely for someone to stop smoking near me. And I do, regularly. If someone is a jerk I am very prepared to stand my ground and make it very clear that his/her smoke is a danger to me or my friends and unwanted. But I should not have to tell you what common sense should be telling you. And that is don't smoke around people who ask you to stop.

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tkoind2 - It is up to the government to designate non-smoking areas, not up to them to decide where to grant freedoms.

Like it or not my friend, your days of being able to be "free" to impose your smoke on others are coming to an end. We know how harmful your smoke is even if you are in denial.

Read my post. I don't smoke.

my friends or no other people should have to ask smokers to stop smoking around them in public. You should have the common sense to not smoke when you expose others to it.

See, your problem is that you think you are the moral superior to the common folk, and you think the government should impose your morals.

Anyway, you miss the entire point. If it is a legal activity, your friends must ask them not to smoke. If an act is not specifically forbidden by law, then it is legal and acceptable, which means it is up to the offended person to voice a complaint.

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It is up to the government to designate non-smoking areas

Or to designate smoking areas?

you miss the entire point. If it is a legal activity, your friends must ask them not to smoke.

Isn't the point that Kanagawa is making it illegal to smoke in some places? And that lots of people are very pleased at this, and that hopefully the trend will spread?

your problem is that you think you are the moral superior to the common folk

No, it's the common folk who want to be able to get on with their lives without running the gauntlet of smokers puffing their poison everywhere.

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I agree wholeheartedly Cleo, it is time for it to be up to the government to designate smoking areas.

It has been stated over and over on here that if non-smokers don't want someone to smoke around them, they should ask the smoker to refrain. So basically, those folks are saying that the onus is on the majority of society who have made a conscious choice not to stick known carcinogens in their mouths and light up??? It is their responsibility to fend off smoke that offends them or harms their health? Why isn't the responsibility on the smokers to be polite? Let me rephrase that...the smokers who light up anywhere they bloody well please (not all smokers are that callous!). For a change, if a smoker in a public place is about to light up, how about he or she take a turn at being the polite one and ask nearby folks if they mind? Is that so much to ask?

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What this all comes down to is the 'freedom' of the smoker to smoke and the freedom of the non-smoker to breath smoke-free air. All non-smokers are asking for is a compromise: No smoking inside public places, please. Is it such a big deal to step outside the office, bar or restaurant for 3 minutes to have the cigarette? A non-smoker can't exactly walk into a bar and ask all the smokers to put out their butts now can they?

Perhaps we could just put up manner signs in restaurants and bars that say 'Please refrain from smoking'. But unfortunately that wouldn't really work. Already there are signs at stations and on the street but still you will see smokers light up. (To be perfectly honest, I have done it)

If it were just an issue of a public annoyance like loud music coming from headphones on the train, well, you can just use manner signs and the majority of people will be kind. However, the issue with smoking is more difficult because a) it is an addiction so politely asking people not to do it doesn't always work and b) it does pose a heath hazard to other people; children in particular.

It's like the law for having people in the back seat of a car wear seatbelts. What we do does affect other people and can endanger their health and safety. The safety and well-being of the whole society is of more importance than any one person's personal freedom.

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First I'd like to thank tkoinde2, dolpingirl and all others for hanging in long enough to keep driving the main points of the matter home again and again. Way back when this blog was just getting started, in the early teens, I put my 2 cents worth (tax for one cigarette?) about it in writing, and after 3-4 attempts became too heated under the collar to continue. But thanks to your diligence, the issues are continuing to be clarified. The last comment by dolphingirl has me writing after some time. "Is it such a big deal to step outside the office, bar, or restaurant for 3 mintues to have a cigarette?" Unfortunately, that EXACTLY is the main problem. IT IS TOO BIG A DEAL FOR THE ADDICTED SMOKER. If you could only come to a golf driving range I attend in Tokyo, you'd see. These people (Mr. 4-minute, Mr. 5-Minute and Mr. I can't swing without a cigarette in my lips), literally cannot rotate their bodies with enthusiasm UNLESS they have a lit cigarette dragging from their lips, or burning away in the ashtray a step away from them. And the issue is exasperated because as they swing and smoke, as you might imagine, the huffing and puffing on the cigarette becomes deeper and more pronounced, and the smoke air bombs become clouds wafting over the whole floor. I've stood up tot these xxxx's more than once, and told them in no uncertain terms, "Don't swing and smoke at the same time!" But its like telling the neighbors to quiet their barking dog. They soon forget. They are so helplessly addicted that they CAN'T just "Step outside" like you suggest. I've talked to the owner of the range, and he suggests, "Why don't you frequent another location if your opposed to the policies of this establishment!" or "Is tobacco so offensive?" And they make a fool out of me. So yes, I believe its up to the govenment to designate smoking and non-smoking areas clearly. Otherwise, its just like blowing hot air. Mind you some other places I go strictly enforce the no-smoking areas in the range. But the family owned places (independently rich? and smokers themselves) do not.

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If you want to die early because of you like to smoke, that's your choice. But don't make me suffer along with you. Second hand smoke is known to cause health problems for non-smokers. Besides the fact that I don't want something inside me that used to be inside of you.

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A non-smoker can't exactly walk into a bar and ask all the smokers to put out their butts now can they?

THIS!! Not to mention that IF everyone complied (I doubt it), you would have to constantly monitor the door to see who new walks in and tries to light up. It just isn't going to work without a law to protect us nonsmokers.

If you carry cigarettes, this is legal.

If you harm me by forcing me to breathe your second hand smoke, this should be assault.

AND THIS!! This is how I have always felt. I think this is what it all comes down to in the end. The only way to protect the rights of everyone is to make everywhere nonsmoking and let the smokers do it alone in private only. That way, smokers can smoke and nonsmokers don't have to.

Nonsmokers should not have to leave a place just because someone nearby light up. The ones smoking are the ones performing an activity that changes the environment-- i.e. causing the problem. So it is their responsibility to take their problem elsewhere.

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I grew up with smokers surrounding me, so I really had my fair deal of second-hand smoke but so far I have never experienced any health problem nor do any of my friends. I read about those statistics but who can truly say that they know someone that happened to. So, eventhough I am not smoking I find this whole issue is going to far. Smokers are people too and they should get special places to smoke everywhere. This is leading to dictatorship otherwise.

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Foxie, many people survive terrible things, but because you are one of the MINORITY, doesn't mean rules shouldn't be enforced to assist the MAJORITY. Without a doubt, the MAJORITY or non-smokers are bothered (to various degrees, some slightly and some dramatically). Its different than car accidents, or food poisoning which is rare but inevitable in the living world. But those things that can be prevented, should be when the VAST MAJORITY voice an opinion concerning its improvement. So whatever your (or your friends) experiences have been, they don't come close to representing mine nor the vast majority of bloggers on this sight, or in other areas in the world at large.

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Unfortunately those that smoke outside of the shop they work in, or are visiting are still bringing in the "second hand tobaccco smoke" on their clothing & themselves.

Those that have to go around some building with smokers outside doing their legit thing are STILL breathing in second-hand tobacco smoke.

It took me some most of my llfe to realize that my ex-parents & friends smoking to those at the shops I worked at to also breath in-------this was the reason for me continually obtaining nagging headaches to sometimes Migrain headaches that would bother me for 1 or several days.

Obviously I am allergic to Second Hand Tobacco Smoke.

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I read about those statistics but who can truly say that they know someone that happened to.

I do! I do! Do I get a prize now? I have chronic, although slight, bronchial problems, one of my brothers has respiratory problems and my mother suffered throat problems. And our family, on both sides has a strong history of extremely good health; such problems don't exist in our family either now or with the generations before us...except for my family who had a smoker in the house for several years. Fortunately, my father stopped smoking in the house after my mother's run in with the doc and her problems cleared up. My brother's problems remain but are better than they used to be and I daresay getting a chest cold is not as much torture for me as it used to be. But what do I know?

Smokers are people too and they should get special places to smoke everywhere.

I think you will find that is what many folks on here are saying. Instead of making non-smoking the exception, it should be the rule and the smokers should finally be the exception, they should be the ones to relegated to the special areas...not everywhere. There is truly no point, for example, in having a smoking section in a restaurant. But the mall that has opened up near me has smoking rooms: nice little enclosed areas for the smokers to go do their thing if they can't handle shopping for an hour without a fagg. I think that is fair.

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And put this into action at outdoor sporting facilities! For YOUR health, not just mine. Come on Hatoyama and Blinky, let's get tough about something that'll help your people!

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Both my mother & father were super strong smokers & each time tobacco went up they had the latest machine for making their own smokes.

Finally both passed away with cancer to the lungs at different ages.

It is knowen that smoking seems to be part of the reason that Multipe Sclerosis has explolded in Canada & some of these were friends of mine, but can hardly move about without walkers YET they are all younger then me.

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It says tax the hell out of tobacco and let that compensate the system for the added drain you smokers burden the system with. This is very very fair.

Speaking of fair, while we are at it why dont we tax the hell out of fast food, alcohol, and unnatural sweeteners. These burden the health care system more than tobacco does. At least in America...FAT people die faster and have more problems than smokers.

Thankfully your points about the so called "freedom" of people to smoke around others is exactly what the new laws are curtailing. In Seattle you cannot smoke on the street, in bars, in restaurants or in any other public space with the exception of designated sites for smokers.

In Ohio you have to be 30meters from an entrance way...cant smoke inside anywhere. I am a smoker, and honestly you do get used to this. However, if Japan is really that bad and if Seattle is a haven for non-smokers, go home. This is Asia...they smoke...alot. They live longer than us too. Youre from america, you probably voted for the nonsmoking laws. As an American smoker...I really dont care which way this goes. Though no matter what you say, making bars non-smoking because its unhealthy will always make me laugh inside. Go smash your liver and wrap your car around a tree...but THANK GOD no nicotine got in my system...

We know how harmful your smoke is even if you are in denial. And we will no longer tolerate the threat to our health and well being because you insist upon poisoning yourselves. *

First of all, being exposed to 1 puff of smoke every once in a while is not going to harm you. Going to a smoky bar for 4 hours / day everyday probably will. But if you do that you are killing yourself anyway...so it really doesnt matter does it?

Your arguments are empty, the trend is strongly against you as are increasing pressures to heavily tax and regulate tobacco. It is inevitable so you should consider quitting or making sure you program those designated smoking spots into your navi now.

Heavily tax? Cigs here are half the price of Ohio and 25% the price of NY or CA...Not sure if you can read Japanese...there are designated smoking spots and signs on the street that say not to walk and smoke. Nobody abides by them so Whats this law going to change? I can understand the family restaurants, the coffee shops, etc..but bars? Really...make a bar healthy? Make it so you can bring a kid to a bar??? hrm.. And there are already non-smoking restaurants, cafes and coffee shops all over Japan. Go to starbucks or any bar / restaurant in the ZEST family. Why cant the restaurants decide if they want to be a smoking restuarant or non? Then smokers can go to the smoking bars / restaurants and non-smokers can go to the non-smoking places...compromise!

Finally, peachy871, my friends or no other people should have to ask smokers to stop smoking around them in public. You should have the common sense to not smoke when you expose others to it. They should not have to engage in confrontation to protect their health in public places. The burden is not rightfully theirs.

First of all, I dont know you, nor do I care about you. However I am a nice guy, just ask...Ill usually put it out...unless I am on a golf course. However when you do ask, just do it politely. Say hey would you mind smoking elsewhere? Dont lecture me, cuz again I Know...anyone that doesnt konw what smoking does is lying...we all know. We just dont care.

No I, on the other hand, am happy to ask nicely for someone to stop smoking near me. And I do, regularly. If someone is a jerk I am very prepared to stand my ground and make it very clear that his/her smoke is a danger to me or my friends and unwanted. But I should not have to tell you what common sense should be telling you. And that is don't smoke around people who ask you to stop.

Agreed. Just ask. Be a jerk to me, dont expect me to stop. 2 way street.

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What this all comes down to is the 'freedom' of the smoker to smoke and the freedom of the non-smoker to breath smoke-free air

Wrong. The government's job is not to grant freedoms. We don't live by permission of the government. However it seems too many people here believe their lives need to be controlled by the government.

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Quote from Dennis Prager that makes a lot of sense.

"One of life's great little pleasures is tobacco. Just watch old war reportage to see the serenity and joy a cigarette brought to a wounded soldier. Though I do not smoke cigarettes, I have been smoking cigars and pipes since I was in college (my father still smokes cigars daily at age 91), and it would be difficult to overstate how much I enjoy both.

No one opposes educating the public about the dangers of cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking shortens the lives of up to a third of smokers, often in terrible ways, and that is what public health organizations should be saying. But the battle against smoking and tobacco has become a religious crusade for anti-smoking zealots, who are almost invariably on the Left. If the Left hated Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro as much as it hates "Big Tobacco," the world would be a better place.

But because the Left hates the fact that people smoke (tobacco, not marijuana, which the Left defends) it uses totalitarian (I use that term with no exaggeration) tactics to eliminate it. Just as the Soviets removed Trotsky from old photos, anti-smoking zealots have forced the removal of cigarettes from old photos -- from photos of FDR, from the famous Beatles photo -- and from movies whenever possible. Torture and murder are ubiquitous in films, but smoking is all but banned -- even cigars are now banned from James Bond films.

Smoking has been banned in entire cities, outdoors as well as in. In Pasadena, Calif., one cannot even smoke in a cigar store. That the Left has contempt for Prohibition reveals a lack of self-awareness that is quite remarkable."

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If you harm me by forcing me to breathe your second hand smoke, this should be assault.

Prove you have been harmed.

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genji17. First I don't appreciate your "go home" attitude. I have as much right to be here as any other legal resident. Beyond that my views represent the views of many Japanese I know who also think you filthy habit should be severly limited and that the public should be protected.

Further, you make gross assumptions about where my stance on alcohol and unhealthy foods are. I assure you I have similar views about irrisponsible behavior with alcohol and the danger it poses to the community.

Let me make this clear. If I have a choice about a spot outside that may be filled with smoke I am happy to avoid it or move. Same goes for staying away from designated smoking areas to avoid smoke.

But it isn't right that we should be subjected to your harmful smoke when sitting in a restaurant with so called no-smoking areas that are as smokey as your smoking areas. Or kept out of social venues because you people can't control your habit.

The bottom line is that the laws in Japan are changing to respect the rights of non-smokers who are the vast majority of citizens here. And momentum is building to keep you from poisoning the rest of us with your habit.

So if you want to kill yourself, knock yourselve out. But do it away from people who don't want to be exposed to your health risk. And protect public places from your polluting habits.

I am sick of the attitude we get when we ask someone to stop smoking in a confined space. You are assaulting our health and we will respond in kind if you do not respect our right not to be poisoned. Take your habit to designated places period.

What comes next is what has happened in many cities around the world. Non-smokers demand that government and private business ban smoking. In the many years I have been in Japan this is changing significantly and we are winning this battle to protect ourselves from smoke.

Now as for your comment about Asia being all about smoking. Nonsense. Sure people smoke here, a lot of them. But by no means are they the majority nor are they approaching parity with the much larger community of people who do not smoke.

As for not caring. I have seen several people in my life die slow horrific deaths as a direct result of smoking. Did you know your arms and legs swell up to about 200% their normal size when the cancer progresses that far? It hurts, so much that even constant doses of the strongest pain killers only moderate the pain.

Skin discolors as circulation fails. Legs and hands begin to change into mottled patterns of bruising. Breathing is laborious and painful. In the last days so much pain killer is required that the person is only vaguely conscious. In the last hours violent shaking and tremmors are common. The doctors explain that it is a response to pain. Death follows.

No I have watched my Grandmother and an aunt endure this with a similar process of illness, pain and ongoing horror. My parent's generation smoked, they didn't know it was killing them until it was too late. Their friends, their spouses and their older children have all suffered from smoking related illness.

I grew up around smoke. My father died of a heart attack they said was directly related to his heavy smoking. I remember hating the smoke but living with it. And the same is true of many of my generation.

If you are fool enough to ignore the scientific facts of how harmful smoking is, if you can look past the horrors that are promising to overtake you in the future, if you can ignore the rights of others to protect their health, and still act so arrogantly about smoking around other people then frankly I pitty you. Perhaps you should do some volunteer work in a cancer ward. It will educate you in ways you can hardly imagine.

Now. I will ask you nicely not to smoke around me. And will thank you if you stop. But if you persist in threating my health and the health of my loved ones with your habit, I will respond with considerably more insistence. And in the mean time continue to actively support the erradication of smoking in public. This fight I promise you we non-smokers will win. As with the taxes. Mark my words.

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genji17 sounds like the kind of guy who'll go up to a No Smoking sign with an attitude and light up because he can't be bothered/doesn't want to be bothered. Then he'll rationalize, nobody asked me. I've seen that. I've dealt with that.

Who are you to decide that a puff of smoke once in a while is acceptable -for me? What do you know about what I've been exposed to? What do you know about other people's chemical sensitivities, their personal health? The people out on the street seem ok.. What about those you don't see? Those at home wheezing, unable to breath, on a home respirator?

So remind me, who is the monster?

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According to the epidemiology report that is cited as “proof” of the dangers of second hand smoke, the results (cancer) can show up as long 50-years later. Half of the doctors think cancer is genetically determined. Which is it genetics or second hand smoke? How do they make the leap to indicting all second hand smoke as the cause? I agree that it is annoying and stinks. I just think this totalitarian crusade is says a lot about character. Remember heterosexual aids to banning DDT. The left is a religion.

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Cigarette smoking shortens the lives of up to a third of smokers, often in terrible ways, and that is what public health organizations should be saying.

No it isn't. To borrow genji's phrasing, we all know, and we don't care if smokers smoke themselves into an early grave. Enjoy your ciggies, cigars, even your weed, whenever you like - but not wherever. Indulge in private. Keep your filthy smoke away from people who don't want to be forced to smoke your second-hand filth.

Prove you have been harmed

I could give you a doctor's note.

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Sorry for the grammatical mistkes in my quick comment.

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the results (cancer) can show up as long 50-years later.

Cancer isn't the only effect of smoke.

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"totalitarian crusade" Shakuji, if we were totalitarian about it we would put you in camps and force you to stop smoking. But that is hardly what anyone is suggesting. All we are saying is smoke all you want in designated spaces only and not anywhere that it will impact people who have the right not to be exposed to your smoke. How hard is that to understand? Does nicotine damage reading ability too?

"the left is religion" so all non-smokers are card carrying leftists now? What planet are living on? Because on this planet the most vigilent non-smokers I know are among the most conservative both morally and politically. The left crowd tends to smoke. But then again, they go outside or don't smoke around the rest of us because they are also very sensitive and caring people, which is how they ended up leaning left I guess.

Bottom line, you don't smoke around people who don't. Period! If you can't control yourself, then the laws will so do it for you.

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True belivers.

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shakuji. Science does not require belief, it requires evidence. The evidence that smoking is harmful is unquestionable. But you are equally proof that the power of big tobacco marketing influence is equally measurable. Marketing, unlike science, does depend upon belief. So who is the true believer here? Care to explain The Faith of Smoking to us?

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tkoind - You are completely wrong. This is not smokers vs. nonsmokers. I am a nonsmoker, and while your touching description of the ravages of cancer is sad, I don't support your view at all. Smoking is legal. You explained people who have died in your family from smoking.

Do you know anyone who has died from second hand smoke due to incidental exposure by sitting next to a smoker in a restaurant??? I bet not.

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I could give you a doctor's note.

I doubt it. Prove you have been harmed due to sitting next to a smoker in a restaurant.

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The left is a religion.

Amen!

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manfromamerica demands: "Prove you have been harmed" (by second-hand smoke). Why should I? Smoking is risky. I CHOOSE not to take that risk because there is no commensurate pleasure or benefit. I resent having that choice taken away from me by selfish, pathetic addicts who can't go five minutes without a fix. I don't want smoking banned. I want smokers to get a brain and get some ethics. If you want to smoke that's your business. Just keep your business out of my nose.

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I want to thank Shakuji for the Prager quote from 10:56. The man is a national treasure, the most sensible voice on radio.

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Smoking is risky.

Yes. But sitting next to a smoker during lunch is NOT risky, so don't exaggerate.

While I support the Kanagawa ordinance, I do not agree with the anti-smoking zealots here who want to ban smoking entirely and criminally punish smokers.

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manfromamerica: "But sitting next to a smoker during lunch is NOT risky, so don't exaggerate" Sitting next to how many smokers during how many lunches is NOT risky? I'm 58 years old. That's a lot of lunches. And besides, when I eat lunch, I want to taste the food and wine I've paid for, not the by-products of someone else's suicide trip.

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manfromamerica. You are the poster child for why we need stronger laws to protect us from insensitive smokers who fail to show any consideration for others.

We have every right to defend ourselves from the biproducts of your disgusting addiction. And we are exercising it through changes to smoking laws and winning this battle in much of the world. Japan is next so you had better get used to the idea.

Like Alan said, by the time you have spent a few years on this planet the cumulative exposure to smoke is considerable. And we have a right to say NO to your imposing that upon us. And bet your last yen we are going to see to it that you stop doing so.

I will say it again, since clearly smoking damages the ability to process information, there is no zealot here trying to stop you from smoking. You can smoke yourself into oblivion for all I care, but you do it away from the rest of us who have as much right to tell you NO. So smoke in a designated fishbowl where your smoke only harms you and the other smokers who submit to being in that space. And get our of public spaces where your smoke is an unwanted imposition.

Suicide by death stick is your choice. My choice and that of many countless others is to demand that you keep that choice to yourself and out of our lives.

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I for one look forward to the day when I can go anywhere I want to without having to breathe in someone's disgusting tobacco smoke. I will throw a huge party in an izakaya the day that my rights to smoke-free air are protected under the law. Those of you that insist that smoking should be legal anywhere are eventually going to lose the battle, and that may just be the best moment of my entire life since I have moved to Japan.

I can't wait!

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genji17 sounds like the kind of guy who'll go up to a No Smoking sign with an attitude and light up because he can't be bothered/doesn't want to be bothered. Then he'll rationalize, nobody asked me. I've seen that. I've dealt with that.

Actually I am not...I am the guy that walks up to the ashtray area and has his cigarette. I am a failry considerate smoker.

Who are you to decide that a puff of smoke once in a while is acceptable -for me?

Never said its acceptable...just said it wont kill you. If you are that sensitive, car emissions would have killed you a long time ago.

genji17. First I don't appreciate your "go home" attitude. I have as much right to be here as any other legal resident.

First of all...you seem stressed. Have a smoke and relax. And your passport may say resident...but until you vote you are a foreigner.

Let me make this clear. If I have a choice about a spot outside that may be filled with smoke I am happy to avoid it or move. Same goes for staying away from designated smoking areas to avoid smoke.

You do have a choice so I fail to see the problem. There are plent of non-smoking restuarants and bars. Any of those owned by the company that owns ZEST does not allow smoking in the buildings. I am not saying everywhere has to have smoking. Just as you have a right to go have a drink at a non-smoking establishment, why cant I choose to go to a smoking establishment and have a beer? Fairs fair right?

As for not caring. I have seen several people in my life die slow horrific deaths as a direct result of smoking. Did you know your arms and legs swell up to about 200% their normal size when the cancer progresses that far? It hurts, so much that even constant doses of the strongest pain killers only moderate the pain.

I am sure it does. I never claimed smoking doesnt do any other that. It is also very addictive. Sorry to hear about your family.

And momentum is building to keep you from poisoning the rest of us with your habit.

I dont like emissions from vehicles...those are also proven to be carcogenic (sp?). Wheres the momentum there?

Cleo Indulge in private

Why? Why cant I have places that social places that I can smoke at with fellow smokers?

I for one look forward to the day when I can go anywhere I want to without having to breathe in someone's disgusting tobacco smoke. I will throw a huge party in an izakaya the day that my rights to smoke-free air are protected under the law. Those of you that insist that smoking should be legal anywhere are eventually going to lose the battle, and that may just be the best moment of my entire life since I have moved to Japan.

I can't wait!

Dude seriously theres these new things out in lots of izakayas. They are called enclosed private rooms. Rent one, invite your non-smoking friends and you are all set! Enjoy your best moment in your life tonight!! Why wait???

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I've observed a lot of smoker behavior in my life. There are smokers who like to take a breather by holding their cigarettes at arm's length (often under someone else's nose) for a few minutes. There are those who walk swinging their arms with a cigarette in one hand. (I was once burned by one of those in Ikebukuro Station). For sheer comedy you can't beat the drowsy smoker whose cigarette drops out of his mouth into his crotch. But my all-time favorites are those polite souls who ask "Do you mind if I smoke" and have the ciggy in their mouth and the lighter lit before they complete the sentence. And when you say "Yes I bloody well do mind," it takes their brains a few seconds to do a double take.

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alan, If you are always sitting next to smokers, you need to change restaurants, or sit in the non-smoking section. And if you've been doing it for 58 years, the smoke doesn't see to have hurt you.

You just seem to hate smokers, period. That's your personal bias.

genji17 - great post.

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manfromamerica. You are the poster child for why we need stronger laws to protect us from insensitive smokers who fail to show any consideration for others.

LOL!! Exaggerate much?? Have smoking and no-smoking areas, that's fine. Just don't think you or the government are the ones to create individual rights.

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tkoind2 -

your disgusting addiction.

Maybe you keep missing this part in my posts, but I don't smoke. You antismokers miss the entire point while you try to force your Puritanism on everyone else.

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"First of all...you seem stressed. Have a smoke and relax. And your passport may say resident...but until you vote you are a foreigner."

For the record, permanent residents can now vote in Japan...

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alan cleanly ask you for how long according to your own world

manfromamerica said:

sitting next to a smoker during lunch is NOT risky, so don't exaggerate.

so alan ask:

Sitting next to how many smokers during how many lunches is NOT risky?

i think it simple and direct question but you still can not answer him as direct as he ask you!

If you are always sitting next to smokers, you need to change restaurants, or sit in the non-smoking section.

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genji17: Your comparison of cigarette smoke and car exhaust fumes doesn't hold water at all. You're saying that because we are already taking one risk, we shouldn't mind being exposed to another. That's illogical. In any case, vehicle manufacturers have dramatically reduced exhaust emissions. What have cigarette manufacturers and their army of nicotine junkies done to improve their emission levels?

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@sirgamble: Really? Thanks, I really didnt know that!

@Alan: It sure does hold water, but you are missing my point. Simply put you walk by a smoker smoking and get a whiff of smoke. A car drives by you get a whiff of exhaust. Carry on with your day and youre fine. Suck on the muffler or strap yourself on a chain smoker youll have problems. Walk by and you wont.

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ManfromAmerica: "you need to change restaurants, or sit in the non-smoking section" LOL Until recently few restaurants (or any other public spaces) in Japan had non-smoking areas. In any case, a non-smoking area is just a place where people don't smoke, often consisting of one or two tables surrounded by smoking tables. It's still part of the same fuggy atmosphere. As to whether 58 years of exposure to second-hand smoke has killed me, I think it's too early to say. But you're right. I have a bias against smokers (and all other forms of dangerous lunatics).

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Why cant I have places that social places that I can smoke at with fellow smokers?

I don't see that anyone is saying that you can't. Just don't do it in public, in places where you might run into asthmatics, kids or expectant mothers who have every right to be out and about getting on with their lives. Or people who simply find the smell of your habit obnoxious.

Instead of suggesting that ordinary folk should be confined to private rooms in the izakaya (and probably forced to walk through a blue haze to get there) why not take the private room yourself? Assuming the proprietor is prepared to go to the expense of turning it into a smoking room, with air curtains, extractor fans and whatever else it takes to stop you polluting the rest of his shop. Perhaps he could charge a bit more for the use of a 'special' room.

I doubt it. Prove you have been harmed due to sitting next to a smoker in a restaurant.

It wasn't a restaurant, but it was a place where people go to engage in social activity (and, this being Japan, in business). I was there a couple of hours, made a point of sitting as far away from the smokers as possible, and ended up at the doctor's next morning wheezing and unable to breathe. The doc asked me if I wanted a note since I would be unable to work for a couple of days, unfortunately being self-employed means I get no paid holidays so the smokers not only gave me bad health for a couple of days, they cost me money. (By the way, please refrain from typing 'I doubt it'. It translates into 'You're lying', and I while I may make mistakes or even get my facts wrong on occasion, I do not lie and I do know when I've been made too ill to work.)

Smoking doesn't have to kill people to be a filthy unsociable habit.

my all-time favorites are those polite souls who ask "Do you mind if I smoke" and have the ciggy in their mouth and the lighter lit before they complete the sentence. And when you say "Yes I bloody well do mind," it takes their brains a few seconds to do a double take.

Yes! and then they get that hang-dog expression that says, 'But -but-but-I asked politely ....that means you're supposed to say Please go ahead and blow your smoke all over me....'

A car drives by you get a whiff of exhaust. Carry on with your day and youre fine.

If it's one car, maybe. Not so if it's a whole city full of them. One reason we moved to the sticks was to get some clean air. Same with ciggies - one smoker drifting past may be smelly, but not that much of a problem. A procession of them puffing away relentlessly in an enclosed space is a different matter.

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alan - you're 58, no signs of lung cancer, you're doing quite well. Plenty of restaurants allow smoking but are not smokey. If you are so sensitive, then maybe you should eat at home or in other nonsmoking areas like the office. No one forces you to eat out.

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you need to change restaurants,

Typical response of the inconsiderate smoking crowd "Hey, we're smoking. YOU find somewhere else"

or sit in the non-smoking section

Not many J-restaurants have no-smoking sections. Most that do are usually tucked away in a dark and dingy corner that's FULL OF SMOKE drifting from the smokers.

My pregnant wife has been unable to go into a restaurant for 6 months now, except the one place we know is always completely smoke-free (and that's run by an American.)

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thedeath - Your question didn't make sense. Alan has been sitting next to smokers for 58 years, so the answer is 58 years is still OK.

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genji17. I agree with Alan, your raising emissions is both baffling and illogical. It also asumes that people are ok with emissions. Which I think you will find many people are working equally hard to reduce emissions both for our environment and for the preservation of dwindling oil supplies. In any case both are a danger and should be addressed. Thus cars with low emissions, clean air standards and movement towards non-polluting vehicles. Like smoking, these changes are necessary, will upset some but protect the majority from unnecessary harm. So thank you for making the point that both are dangerous, undesirable and in need or immediate social, political and legal action.

"Why? Why cant I have places that social places that I can smoke at with fellow smokers?" Because you and your fellow smokers are imposing your sick habit on the rest of us in public places. So as long as a place provides a sealed area where you can collectively kill yourselves, have at it mate. But when you transgress against the non-smokers we draw the line there.

Smokers have the burden in this argument. You are imposing a proven danger upon the public. And like all other public dangers we have the right to defend ourselves accordingly. This means protections of public spaces from unnecessary dangers resulting from other's behavior. It is no different than having laws to protect us from other invasive activity.

"Just don't think you or the government are the ones to create individual rights." And just what planet do you live on where rights are not decided by government response to collective feedback?

First off smoking is not a guaranteed right. Not in any constition I have ever seen. It is hardly a human rights issue. And there is more than adequate evidence that laws against smoking would constitute protection of others human rights and the constitutional right to life.

The bad news for you is that we do have the ability and the right to press forward for legislation to curtail smoking, or even ban it. If the majority decide it so, it will be so as the cities who have already made such measures clearly demonstrate. They not only have the right to curtail your habits, they are executing that right with confidence.

If you don't like it, fight back in the same way. Get on stage or TV and tell us all how smoking is a good thing that should be protected and allowed everywhere. I dare you. Go for it, I will even help pay for it. Because having a bunch of smokers moaning about how they are repressed by people who don't want their children, loved ones and selves exposed to cancer causing smoke will do more for my cause than I could ever do. It would put the nails in the coffin of public smoking as the media, concerned citizens and others rally to tell you just how much they want smoking out of their lives. So go for it if you dare.

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Not many J-restaurants have no-smoking sections.

Yes they do. And the sections are usually the best seats. The smokers are cordoned off in the back.

My pregnant wife has been unable to go into a restaurant for 6 months now

Who says eating in a restaurant is a Right? What if a restaurant owner wants his place to allow smoking? They have every right to cater to whomever they want.

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It wasn't a restaurant, but it was a place where people go to engage in social activity (and, this being Japan, in business). I was there a couple of hours, made a point of sitting as far away from the smokers as possible, and ended up at the doctor's next morning wheezing and unable to breathe.

Then that is YOUR health concern, not theirs. They did not give you lung cancer. If you have asthma, avoid smokers.

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If it's one car, maybe. Not so if it's a whole city full of them. One reason we moved to the sticks was to get some clean air.

Yes, you realized it bothered you, and you took responsibility on your own. You didn't outlaw all cars. You moved to a place you will be happier.

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@Alan: Ill agree about the Japanese non-smoking areas. Kinda like peein in the pool. I actually saw one person ask for non-smoking so they took the ashtray off the table...which Ill agree isnt right. However calling smokers dangerous lunatics? Back her down there a notch turbo. Then only two here that seem insane enough to start assaults on smokers seems to be yourself and tkoind2. We smoke...doenst mean we are lunatics. We all have our vices. Who konws what yours is...

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First off smoking is not a guaranteed right. Not in any constition I have ever seen.

Smoking is not forbidden in any constitution.

Most people believe people already have rights, the government doesn't create it. You seem to firmly believe people only have rights if the government specifically allows it. So you only live your life by permission of the government?

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genji17: "whiff of smoke", "whiff of exhaust"

You're missing my points, too. First point: One whiff, no problem. Many,many whiffs on many, many days, big problem. Second point: Why compound unavoidable risks with avoidable risks caused by the mulish selfishness of a dwindling minority? Third point: While cars and factories are getting cleaner all the time, smokers are still puffing out the same old dangerous filth that offended King James I 400 years ago.

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Not many Japanese restaurants have non-smoking sections?! LOL

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alan -

What risk? second hand smoke has not affected you after 58 years. You can't make a law to force people to be considerate. Ask them not to smoke. Stay in non-smoking sections, or don't eat in those restaurants. You control your environment.
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manfromamerica: "What risk? second hand smoke has not affected you after 58 years." How do you know? The effects are extremely long-term. I've been exposed to the risk in the past, and I want to avoid it in the future. "You can't make a law to force people to be considerate." I absolutely agree with you. What I am saying is that anyone who lights a cigarette is 100% responsible for preventing for any nuisance or harm to others. Adults shouldn't need politicians to tell them that.

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manfromamerica. Or should I address you as doctor? What do you know about his health? What do you really know about the compounding impact of second hand smoke. The medical community seem to know a great deal about this topic. As do governments around the world. The evidence is there and your "unique" opinion with regards to the impact of second hand smoke is hardly convincing. You are free to believe whatever you want. Belief is indeed a frequently protected civil and human right. But denial, which you seem to be well equipped with, is something the rest of us do not have to accept. Put the proof on the table if you have overwhealming evidence contrary to the global medical community.

What is the risk. Cancer.

Don't impose your sick habit on the rest of us. Doesn't matter what you believe, smoking is a vice, an addictive habit and a filthy form of selfindulgence. Do it away from the rest of us. It is really that simple. You have the burden of change as your habit is the imposition on others well being.

genji17, your thinking is...well... it defies words. So if something is dangerous you judge the rational to address the problem by the cumulative effect upon one person? Just how does that work out? You forget variables such as the fact that smoke or emissions may effect certain groups of people at different exposure rates. Or that some people have little or no choice but to be exposed frequently, or the cumulative impact of people who are even periodically impacted. Your position lacks any grounding in rational science or critical thinking.

Still waiting for you pro-smoking lot to take the stage and hoist up your public banners demanding your human right to smoke. It would be an amusing process to see the reaction such a movement would generate from the majority who have been waiting for the opportunity to speak up on how much they wish you would stop poisoning the air in public places. Do please charter and launch your movement immediatly.

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alan -

"What risk? second hand smoke has not affected you after 58 years." How do you know? The effects are extremely long-term.

So you are worried that your incidental contact with second hand smoke might give you cancer after another 58 years? If you live to 116, you're quite lucky.

What I am saying is that anyone who lights a cigarette is 100% responsible for preventing for any nuisance or harm to others.

No, what you are saying is that you and the government should have total control over everyone's lives.

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Instead of suggesting that ordinary folk should be confined to private rooms in the izakaya (and probably forced to walk through a blue haze to get there) why not take the private room yourself?

I am fine with that too, if that is the way the owner set up their establishment. If smoking is restrained to a private room, Ill go there. If not, why dont you go to the private room? Sounds like a compromise to me...

Why? Why cant I have places that social places that I can smoke at with fellow smokers?" Because you and your fellow smokers are imposing your sick habit on the rest of us in public places.

And that is the problem with your argument...mate? You are too absolute. Where as I suggest compromise. You can go wherever you choose, smoking or non or partial smoking places. But as a smoker, why cant I have a place that other smokers go to enjoy food and drink just like you and enjoy my smoking? You dont have to go there, I am not making you.

Smokers have the burden in this argument.

What argument??? As a smoker I will tell you, smoking is BAD for you. Prolonged use can potentially kill you. I am not arguing that. All I am saying is as much as non-smokers have a right for non-smoking establishments, smokers should be able to go to smoking establishments. Why cant that be? You all want extreemism where I can only smoke in my apartment. Thats not fair either.

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You all want extreemism where I can only smoke in my apartment. Thats not fair either.

Wrong genji17. They want to ban that too.

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@genji17: about VICE , do you understand the word VICE ? it means "Bad Habit", I dont agree about "It's my VICE so it can't help it". VICE is a personal thing, and should remain personal or maybe do it with other people who shares the same vice as you , if smoking is your vice , then you should keep it to yourself. period. letting your vices disturb or harm other people is not right. If you're a smoker, fine! smoke, kill yourself , but consider the non smokers around you because you are the one who have the bad habit.

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"No, what you are saying is that you and the government should have total control over everyone's lives." Don't be silly. Controlling your smoke emissions is hardly big brother control over your lives. Give it a rest.

Look partial smoking palces are a joke. A 1 meter divider is hardly protecting anyone from a vaporous substance that can easly waft over it.

Bottom line we are the majority and you are the ones with an addictive habit. A habit that is proven to have health risks for bystanders. As such we have the right to protect our right to health and clean air, you do not have the right to impose your dangerous materials on others. Don't you get that!?!

Look smokers do have a right to a place to smoke. Perhaps certain places can be licensed to allow smoking. But this should not apply to general public places. We have laws to restrict drinking to bars in much of the world. Let's establish smoking bars where your lot can go and have your smokes. Signs would be posted to protect others. But the VAST majority of public spaces would be returned to the public smoke free. That is a rational compromise. We even throw in designated spots all over town.

The other alternative is to put the burden on business. If they want to support smoking they must do what Tullies have done and build a fishbowl where the smokers can share all the second hand smoke they want. If a public space does not have such a fishbowl, then they are not allowed to have smoking. Then business can decide who to cater to and if the cost is warranted to do so.

"You all want extreemism where I can only smoke in my apartment. Thats not fair either." Fair? Look smoking is slow suicide, if you want to do that, then fair enough, do it. But the rest of us are trying to live cleanly and don't want your smoke. As long as you are imposing a health risk your right to fairness is limited.

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"Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette." Blacken your lungs, throat, kidneys, kookaracha. I have a good Japanese friend who is a lifelong cancer researcher and MD to boot, and very wealthy from patents on health products that have been good sellers in Japan for the last 30 years. About 2 years ago, when I first met him, he was in the habit of smoking cigarillos (small cigars) after meals. When I met him last month, he was no longer smoking, so I asked him why? He said, "I just had my lungs scanned. After seeing their horrifically blackened condition, I reconsidered my priorities." If only all smokers had such good sense.

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genji17, your thinking is...well... it defies words. So if something is dangerous you judge the rational to address the problem by the cumulative effect upon one person? Just how does that work out?

Now I am very confused...let me make it simple for you.

I smoke. I know smoking is bad for you, but I like it and am allowed to. You dont want to breath my smoke. I understand this and respect that. Therefore you want to ban smoking everywhere. Refer to me as filthy and disgusting...whatever. I suggest compromise, places smokers can go to do what they want, places non-smokers can go to do what they want. You say my thinking defies words.

I guess simple straightforward thinking does...

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Look smokers do have a right to a place to smoke. Perhaps certain places can be licensed to allow smoking. But this should not apply to general public places. We have laws to restrict drinking to bars in much of the world. Let's establish smoking bars where your lot can go and have your smokes. Signs would be posted to protect others. But the VAST majority of public spaces would be returned to the public smoke free. That is a rational compromise. We even throw in designated spots all over town.

The other alternative is to put the burden on business. If they want to support smoking they must do what Tullies have done and build a fishbowl where the smokers can share all the second hand smoke they want. If a public space does not have such a fishbowl, then they are not allowed to have smoking. Then business can decide who to cater to and if the cost is warranted to do so.

Sure! I support the Kanagawa ordinance. I just don't support anti-smoking zealots who fanatically insult smokers, cry about exaggerated "risks" from a lunch, and in general want the government to be their parents.

And you still don't seem to be reading my posts, I don't smoke.

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Look smokers do have a right to a place to smoke. Perhaps certain places can be licensed to allow smoking. But this should not apply to general public places. We have laws to restrict drinking to bars in much of the world. Let's establish smoking bars where your lot can go and have your smokes. Signs would be posted to protect others. But the VAST majority of public spaces would be returned to the public smoke free. That is a rational compromise. We even throw in designated spots all over town.

The other alternative is to put the burden on business. If they want to support smoking they must do what Tullies have done and build a fishbowl where the smokers can share all the second hand smoke they want. If a public space does not have such a fishbowl, then they are not allowed to have smoking. Then business can decide who to cater to and if the cost is warranted to do so.

Sure! I support the Kanagawa ordinance. I just don't support anti-smoking zealots who fanatically insult smokers, cry about exaggerated "risks" from a lunch, and in general want the government to be their parents.

And you still don't seem to be reading my posts, I don't smoke.

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@manfromamerica: Why would people adjust for smokers? you smokers should adjust to people who don't, common sense dude, it's proven that smoking harms people, if you have manners then you know what you should do. you guys are the ones who have the "bad habit", not us.... so you adjust to the normal world.

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you smokers

Read my post thoroughly. I don't smoke. Casual exposure to second hand smoke will most likely not give you cancer.

if you have manners

Hey! Let's pass a law to make "rudeness" illegal! Maybe we can also outlaw body odor! And goofy smiles!

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Sure! I support the Kanagawa ordinance. I just don't support anti-smoking zealots who fanatically insult smokers, cry about exaggerated "risks" from a lunch, and in general want the government to be their parents.

Agreed and I do smoke!

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manfromamerica. It is just that I don't care if you smoke or not, I disagree strongly with your protectionist attitude towards smoking.

The risks are real Dr. Manfromamerica. Just your grasp of the evidence is imaginary. Second hand smoke kills. Spend some time reading and you will quickly find staggering evidence from very well established and proven sources that second hand smoke kills.

I for one will not sit by quietly while some self indulgent person on a personal suicide run tries to poison my loved ones and I with their cancer causing smoke. And you are foolish to assume nonsmokers would be so passive forever. We know the danger, we know the consequences and we are acting to put an end to this problem. Like it or not.

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@manfromamerica: You don't smoke but you support arrogant smokers, so what's the difference? dude! Body Odor will not give me CANCER! goofy smiles will not KILL ME.....

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@manfromamerica-I am also not a smoker. But I agree with your posts. I wonder what the gov't will try to 'control' next. When is it going to stop?

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Gurukun. Give me a break. Stopping smoking is the same as other government efforts to protect the public from risk.

The cities who have imposed strong anti-smoking laws have carried on just fine. People vote, they go out and have fun, they state opinions, pursue happiness and prosperity and life goes on just fine without the foul stench of smoke.

So just how do you take the leap from protecting the public from a known cancer causing agent to domination of your lives by big brother? Or are you adding this to a long existing list of conspiracy theories?

Look, as a liberal person I am all for a free and open society. Maybe more so than most of the people I know who smoke. But I am also in favor of protecting the public health. That means I am against pollution, against violence, against dangerous things that can be avoided.

You don't need to smoke. It is an addiction. You don't have the right to impose your smoke on others. This is a violation of their rights. You can still smoke in designated places. This is a provision of rights protection. So where are the jack boot wearing troops of big brother to take away all your other rights? This is right winger non-sense at its worst.

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I for one will not sit by quietly while some self indulgent person on a personal suicide run tries to poison my loved ones and I with their cancer causing smoke.

LOL!!! A wee-bit overzealous, don't you think? Sitting next to a smoker won't kill you or your loved ones.

Stopping smoking is the same as other government efforts to protect the public from risk

The stock market is risky, and you can lose all of your family's money. I guess the government should outlaw that too, right? Driving is risky. Outlaw that?

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manfromamerica, if I have to choose between what the medical community has said about second hand smoke and your illusory claims then it isn't a very hard decision. Smoke is harmful. It has cumulative effects that expose us to risk. And it may very well kill us if we don't act to put an end to it. You can dream whatever you like, the evidence supports my position and you have yet to produce any proof to the contrary.

Driving is risky, that is why we have strong laws for safety, for driving behavior and for who is allowed to drive. We stop the elderly from driving if they are unable to do so safely. We stop people who drive dangrously from driving. We suspend the liceses of those who drink and drive. So you prove my point again, government does and has the right to protect the greater public.

Guns, drugs, knives, alcohol etc... are all dangerous and thus controlled by laws enacted to protect the public. Thus it is only natural, following your examples, to enact laws that would protect us from smoking. Since public consumption of second hand smoke have been proven to subject non-smokers to cancer causing substances, and since the evidence supports that it is harmful, it is only natural that steps to restrain needless exposure would follow. Thus the fishbowl or designated location solution would be very much in line with how everything from firearms to motorvehicles are managed.

None of this is totalitaraian. None of this is out of line with the status quo of public protection. It is just coming late to smoking because of the long standing efforts of tobacco companies who have paid their way through government for ages to keep their products out there and protected.

Well, this has changed. The public know the dangers and they are acting to eliminate it. And naturally so. Again, you lose this argument. The momentum now is unavoidable.

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None of this is totalitaraian.

Wrong again. You seem to believe that government allows you to live. Most people however feel it the the people who allow the government to govern.

It is not the government's job to shelter people from "risk". Take responsibility for yourself.

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tkoind2 - By the way, you "lose this argument". LOL!

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manfromamerica "So you are worried that your incidental contact with second hand smoke might give you cancer after another 58 years? If you live to 116, you're quite lucky." Now you're being deliberately obtuse. "Incidental" is relative. For anyone who's lived through the 50s and 60s or in Japan, the contact was actually quite continual.

ManfromAmerica: "No, what you are saying is that you and the government should have total control over everyone's lives." And now you're getting a bit hysterical. I've said nothing of the kind. I don't care when, where or what people smoke, as long as they don't inflict their habits on me. If they can control the fumes and stink of their habit, let them enjoy it in good health. (That's irony, BTW, in case you didn't recognize it.)

It's the irresponsible behavior of smokers that is bringing government into the equation in Kanagawa and elsewhere.

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"Take responsibility for yourself." And just what do you think political action to change smoking regulations is? Non-smokers are taking responsibility by making sure we don't have to endure second hand smoke. This is what happened in many cities who have banned public smoking. The people took action to protect themselves from unwanted second hand smoke. And smokers now have to comply with those laws.

Second. Your assertion about my political beliefs could not be more off base. Do a search on my opinions on various topics and you will find that I am quite against any form of repression or excessive government. I am sure my right wing debate adversaries on this site can bring you into the light on just how liberal and left leaning I am.

But I do believe in responsible governance. And that means having a government of the people and driven by the people to act on our behalf. The application of rational law is hardly the overempowerment of government. On the contrary it is why we have government, to execute the will of the people for the greater good of the people.

All I am advocating here is the protection of the rights of people not be poisoned by second hand smoke. And as an advocate taking my best interests to heart I am working to that end with the majority of others who share this objective. The government isn't sheltering me, it is listening our concerns and acting responsibly.

Like it or not, the monsters win in the long run. Life will go on without second hand smoke. It is inevitable.

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alan, you still didn't read my posts. I support the Kanagawa ordinance, but the anti-smoking fanatics who want to criminalize smoking are completely wrong. You do seem to argue for that.

And as for smoke in a restaurant, you are being hysterical and fear-mongering.

tkoind2 - You stated that government needs to protect people from risk by banning smoking. The you must support banning cars, bicycles, walking, bright light, and anything else that can cause a risk. People can get sun cancer if exposed to it for too long, so I guess sunlight should be banned too according to your argument.

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Like it or not, the monsters win in the long run. Life will go on without second hand smoke. It is inevitable.

Until then hope you dont get cancer from walking passed a smoker. It will be a long time coming too. 6 years ago as an exchange student they had just come up with designated smoking spots on campus. 6 years later they outlaw smoking in government places etc.

I figure a good 12 or more...then you healthy folk can go smash your livers in izakayas (More irony Alan!! Get it?). Ill hopefully have quit smoking by then.

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manfromamerica. give it a rest mate. If you didn't understand where I stand on government by now, you won't. And your assertions are well... absurd at best.

Bottom line, in simple language this time.

Smoking to be limited to designated areas. Fish tanks or sealed smoking areas ok in public places. No smoking in places that are not covered in points 1 or 2.

No ban. No big brother. Just grass roots action to stop second hand smoke. Now why is this so hard for you to grasp?

genji17. Points to you for unfounded optimism. The shift in cities in the US was swift. Once people heard about the movement to stop second hand smoke, it raced forward very quickly. Not many years, but just a couple years.

Kanagawa has started the dominoes falling. Japan is, if nothing else, trendy. You can count upon this spreading in the near future. Your days of smoking wherever are already in decline and soon to be a thing of the past.

bicultural. No just killing a slow afternoon between things.

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If second-hand smoke hasn't actually killed you after 58 years, you've nothing to complain about; and if it has caused you health problems, then it's your own fault for being there. Good one, man.

There is nothing hysterical about wanting to enjoy a meal without a blue-grey pall hanging over your plate.

Heck, even JT - the folk who once dreamed up that daddy of all oxyorons, 'smokin' clean' - is plugging 'smoking etiquette' and smoking rooms.

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genji17. Points to you for unfounded optimism. The shift in cities in the US was swift. Once people heard about the movement to stop second hand smoke, it raced forward very quickly. Not many years, but just a couple years.

Woot points!! This is not the US. And there was talk of it in the 1980s. Malls, department stores etc were quick to follow, but it took about 20 years to reach most states in places like restaurants and bars.

Japan is, if nothing else, trendy

Bunch of bandwagon jumpers here. They got right on board with trendy campaigns such as Save the whales but thats another topic all together.

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tkoind2 - I do know where you stand. You want government to decide what is good for people. You should know that just because the government enacts some legislation doesn't mean the people support it or that it is constitutional.

You are using absurd fear tactics in order to ban smoking outright. Sitting next to a smoker might be annoying to you, but it won't kill you.

And you didn't answer - do you want to ban fatty foods in restaurants? After all, people who go there can't control what salt and cholesterol their food contains.

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@genji: it's so ignorant of you to assume that people will not get cancer for walking passed a smoker, what if there are 500 hundred smokers standing on each street where you walk pass on your way home and work? its like saying , "it's ok to drink and drive even with 1 glass of wine only, 1 glass of wine will not make you drunk." You are hoping to quit in the future? why!? what is the reason for quitting?

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cleo -

then it's your own fault for being there. Good one, man.

Hey, you could eat anywhere, but YOU chose to go eat in the restaurant. No one forced you.

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it's so ignorant of you to assume that people will not get cancer for walking passed a smoker, what if there are 500 hundred smokers standing on each street where you walk pass on your way home and work?

Walking past 500 smokers on the corner on the way home from work won't kill you.

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what if there are 500 hundred smokers standing on each street where you walk pass on your way home and work?

Those are some awfully big street corners!

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@genji: it's so ignorant of you to assume that people will not get cancer for walking passed a smoker, what if there are 500 hundred smokers standing on each street where you walk pass on your way home and work? You are hoping to quit in the future? why!? what is the reason for quitting?

I pass 11 streets on my way to work. So that would be 11 lines of 500 smokers which means to and fro 5500 people...cmon really? It stinks its unpleasant, same with the homeless guy at the station. Walk on and be done with it.

You will not die from the odd encounter with cigarette smoke.

Why do I want to quit? I saw a study...I hear smoking can potentially be bad for you.

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manfromamerica: it wont kill you instantly , but it CAN kill you. if you don't believe in this theory then what is your theory to prove that 2nd hand smoke wont kill you? any evidence ? can you share it with us?

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stackedactor-

it wont kill you instantly , but it CAN kill you.

It didn't kill Alan after 58 years of eating in smoke-filled restaurants. What are your stats on second-hand smoke? What % of those are because they ate at a table next to a smoker? You guys are using fear to impose your "morals" on people, because it bothers you. That's it.

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@genji: that is the problem dude, Passing by a homeless guy , yeah you can go on and be done with it. walking pass a smoker doesnt. Because it harms you, not Instantly but it harms you. they are 2 different things man. If you've read a study that smoking can be potentially bad for you, then why don't you quit now!?

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Anyway, I support the Kanagawa ordinance.

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manfromamerica. I'm done trying to enlighten you on the role of government as an instrument of change motivated by the will of the people. If you don't get it already, you won't. Everyone else here seems to get it just fine.

"no one is forcing you to go into a restaurant." Most of the time I choose places that have separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. Then some guy comes and sits nearby and starts chain smoking. So what are the majority of people in Japan supposed to do? You expect we will not go to restaurants so your minority of smokers can endulge their habit? What will that do for business?

Bottom line, band smoking as I presecribed to designated places or fishbowl rooms. Everyone wins. Are you really so blind that you can't see this is the answer. Or maybe Cleo is right, you are just a thread troll looking to be contrary.

Moderator: Readers, you are all starting to go around in circles.

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Hey, you could eat anywhere, but YOU chose to go eat in the restaurant. No one forced you.

As I said before, it wasn't a restaurant; I wasn't eating, I was working.

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tkoind2 - No one is forcing you to eat in restaurants that are smokey. No one is forcing you to eat out at all.

And what is this "majority" you keep referring too? When was the national vote on smoking?

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I have been here a long time and the changes I have seen in Japan usually come quickly. More and more places are responding and more and more people joining the call for eleminating public smoking.

The dream world of denial must protect you from the reality of changes you no doubt already see around you. Kanagawa is just the begining. Smoking is on the run like a defeated army. Sure you will have a few last stands, but it is already writen that smoking will be reduced to designated spots only. And not in the too distant future.

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Kanagawa is just the begining. Smoking is on the run like a defeated army. Sure you will have a few last stands, but it is already writen that smoking will be reduced to designated spots only. And not in the too distant future.

LOL! Who talks like this?

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No vote required. Smokers make up a minority of the general population. This is an undeniable fact mate.

Again, I am not asking to ban smoking. I am asking to ban public smoking in areas that do not meet my two criteria. 1. Designated smoking places. 2. Fishbowl type smoker isolation rooms. How are these a ban? Do you know what ban means?

Clearly smoke all you want in areas 1 and 2. Don't smoke in places that are not areas 1 and 2. This is simple, what don't you get about it? Can someone else explain this to this guy in some even more simple manner?

As for existing restaurants. A minority with an abberant behavior are trying to argue that the majority should choose between not going to restaurants and breathing in unwanted second hand smoke. Well, bad news mate, the restaurants are already changing and the laws to assure more comprehensive change are not far off.

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@genji: that is the problem dude, Passing by a homeless guy , yeah you can go on and be done with it. walking pass a smoker doesnt. Because it harms you, not Instantly but it harms you. they are 2 different things man.

You walk by a smoker and get a whiff...theres no damage. Sit in a smokey room multiple hours / day..potentail damage. You wont convince me otherwise, dont even try.

If you've read a study that smoking can be potentially bad for you, then why don't you quit now!?

As said report said...pretty dang addictive.

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No vote required. Smokers make up a minority of the general population. This is an undeniable fact mate.

Who says all nonsmokers want to ban smoking? I don't smoke either.

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In the years I have been here I have seen many changes towards an anti-smoking attittued.

Started with "No Smoking" in the offices only in smoking rooms, etc. Many restaurants are also now "Non-Smoking" especially during lunch-times. Others have now separate areas for smokers and non-smokers.

Train and Bus-stations are now non-smoking, as are most areas around stations and shopping streets(except for designated areas). Also many wards now forbid walking and smoking(just look at the stickers on the road), many will fine you for doing so. My ward also forbids throwing away of smoked Cigarette-stumbs.

Japan has come a long way towards non-smoking since I came here 13yrs ago. I welcome it as I now got a family and a child.

Personally, I find it funny when smoking started you were only allowed to smoke in so called "Smoking clubs". Feel free to smoke but pls, keep it away from me and my loved ones.

HTH.

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No one said all anyone wants all anything. But non-smokes constitute the vast majority of people in Japan and much of the world. We have the right to curtail and control our exposure to second hand smoke. Period. The laws are quickly changing to reflect this undeniable fact.

Genji17. If you are already a hopeless victim of smoking, why would you want to expose others to it? The moral obligation you have, fully knowing that smoke causes harm and is addictive, should compel you to be more responsible about it. At least if you cannot save yourself from addiction, you can take the socially moral high road to protect others from damage. Better a hero in this regard than the villain who cares less about the health concerns of others.

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Genji17: I assume you accept that cigarette smoke is harmful? So who takes responsibility for the harm caused? Kanagawa has provided one answer? Is there another?

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Zenny11. Well said.

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@genji: what if there are 3 smokers smoking together and you're waiting for the green light??? smokers can make your clothes smell bad too. admit it ,it's un avoidable , thats why smokers need to adjust and smoke on designated areas for them. and come on , its not even a question of can kill you or not, not all people likes smoking , so you mean you don't consider them? you have that BAD HABIT and you annoy other people around you,do you think that's right?

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Genji17. If you are already a hopeless victim of smoking, why would you want to expose others to it? The moral obligation you have, fully knowing that smoke causes harm and is addictive, should compel you to be more responsible about it. At least if you cannot save yourself from addiction, you can take the socially moral high road to protect others from damage. Better a hero in this regard than the villain who cares less about the health concerns of others.

I told you before I am a considerate smoker. I dont smoke outside of designated areas. I smoke where I am allowed. Dont smoke by preggos and kids. I like cigs with my beer. preggos and kids dont belong in bars.

My goal is not to expose others to second hand smoke, but if I am in my designated area and you walk by...I dont care...I have no responsiblity to people I dont know...I am following what I am allowed to do.

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Genji17: I assume you accept that cigarette smoke is harmful? So who takes responsibility for the harm caused? Kanagawa has provided one answer? Is there another?

Serously? Its 2010...who doesnt except that prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke is harmful? As I said above I smoke in designated areas. If there is no ashtray I dont smoke. So if you come to said area and leave smelling like a smoke, it might be my cigarette, but it is not my fault. I dont walk and smoke and I dont smoke at intersections.

@genji: what if there are 3 smokers smoking together and you're waiting for the green light??? smokers can make your clothes smell bad too. admit it ,it's un avoidable , thats why smokers need to adjust and smoke on designated areas for them. and come on , its not even a question of can kill you or not, not all people likes smoking , so you mean you don't consider them? you have that BAD HABIT and you annoy other people around you,do you think that's right?

Again see above...I dont think its right, hence why I follow the rules. I never said let me smoke wherever, whenver. All I said was give me a place to do it.

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People have the right to eat wherever they want ,why is it so hard to SMOKE in designated areas? will controlling yourself from smoking for few minutes to consider the others or stepping away and smoke at smoking area and come back will kill you?

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My goal is not to expose others to second hand smoke, but if I am in my designated area and you walk by...I dont care...I have no responsiblity to people I dont know...

Good! You are doing everything you are required to do.

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Smoking is drug addiction, and anyone who wants to smoke in this day and age should really consider having psychiatric help. It has been proven, without doubt, that smoking kills, and causes various terrible diseases. It is a dangerous addiction, and society must do all in its power to stomp out this disgusting and dangerous self-harming habit.

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Smoking is drug addiction, and anyone who wants to smoke in this day and age should really consider having psychiatric help.

Right on cue here comes the crusade to ban all smoking and imprison smokers in psychiatric hospitals.

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@ manfromamerica "Who says all nonsmokers want to ban smoking? I don't smoke either." Ahem, since you don't seem to mind smokers, you most likely have been smoking for quite some time, be it in a vicarious second-hand way.

Unbelievable to what lengths some people can go to rationalize their deepest fears. Not all social issues are about the government dictating you what to do, you know.

Governments, albeit ridden with shortcomings, are what keeps communities together at a very large scale; without some kind of govern-ment (i.e., manage-ment) anarchy quickly ensues.

If you have agreed to be a part of society and reap all the benefits from civilized living, I do not see how you can be so paranoid about THE government. People who really fear someone else imposing rules, trends, laws etc. on them become hermits.

Now, I wouldn't mind hermit-smokers somewhere out in the wild at all. But then they would have to grow their own tobacco there...

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A lot of posters on here are not advocating a total ban on smoking, they are only saying that it makes sense for smoking to be relegated to SPECIFIC SMOKING AREAS away from other people. It is not a difficult concept, really. But most of the smokers on here see "please don't smoke around me" and instantly translate that into "all smoking should be banned everywhere and cigarettes should not exist anywhere ever". Please try to read what many are actually writing on here and stop playing martyr.

All many of us on here are trying to say is that smoking stinks, it is hazardous to your health, the health of others so perhaps designated smoking areas are the way to go.

And I hadn't thought of this at all until this thread, but why are non-smokers the ones who have to be actively polite with regard to the smoking issue. Why on Earth can't it be proper etiquette for a smoker to ask first before lighting up around others? Non-smokers are the ones not smoking yet are expected to be humble and the ones who must practice proper etiquette in a smoking situation. What???

There is not one thing wrong with smoking bans in public places, especially considering that when those bans are enacted, smokers are usually indeed provided with somewhere to go to support their habit.

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Here...a scientific paper regarding smoking in Japan and why some people quit. Disclaimer: lots of big words; some folks might want to have a dictionary handy. LOL (just teasing!)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598550/pdf/336.pdf

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Who says eating in a restaurant is a Right?

Utterly ludicrous, inconsiderate, pathetic remark.

Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

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"Who says eating in a restaurant is a Right? Utterly ludicrous, inconsiderate, pathetic remark."

Eating in a restaurant IS a right. It is AGAINST your rights if you are discriminated entry based on racial features in the US, but you can't go in a restaurant naked (or even with just underpants to avoid indecent exposure laws)

You have the prevelege of entering a restaurant. You do not have God-endowed rights.

Secondly, while I AM a smoker and I KNOW its a nasty habit (I am not up to quitting right this moment because of reasons even non-smokers will empathize with... the country I work in is really dangerous!) but people should realize that car exhaustion and tire particles are far more dangerous than 2nd hand smoke.

Yeah, butts are nasty being thrown away and the cigarette ashes such. But I'm telling you, you're being a fool if you think even BANNING cigarettes will suddenly make humans all happier and better beings and the Earth magically cleaner. No sir.

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You bet I'm stressed. I'm in a high traffic pedestrian area. The park out front sees a lot of use. Neighbours see me out there day after day sometimes getting screamed at (several issues, litter, smokers, illegal scooter parking, taxis peeing). But they've seen the results and finally some have found their own voice and have started speaking out, share in the responsibility. Yeah.. I should head out there with a nice big Havana cigar. It's been a while.

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The examples iterated in this piece in Japan are indeed ridiculous. It's amazing how the non-smoking thing is treated by non-smokers here in Japan. I'm a non-smoker but as long as people are not puffing smoke in my face I don't care. Separating smokers from non-smokers on your cell phone is stupid. And what scientific evidence does one person have to say that smokers are losers and have low academic records. How insane! I've never heard non-smokers say anything like that here in the US, not that there isn't but I haven't heard any. The common things people point out is that it's a bad habit, gross, and it shouldn't be done in confined areas with crowds of people. Strange Japan....

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@peachy871: That's a good article, thanks. I have some reservations about their methodology though: 1)Did the participants really understand the questions ("upper respiratory tract infection?!"), and 2) could they really put themselves in such a situation and imagine what their decision about smoking will be? The results generally show that the more dependent a smoker you are, the higher the tobacco price needed to deter smoking. Yet, this finding could be interpreted alternatively: perhaps people who are more dependent THINK they would still be smoking if prices were double, because they know they are strongly dependent.

It would be interesting to see how this study's simulation compares to real-life smoking rates among similar people, that is, can their results predict what actually happens.

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Dude seriously theres these new things out in lots of izakayas. They are called enclosed private rooms. Rent one, invite your non-smoking friends and you are all set! Enjoy your best moment in your life tonight!! Why wait???

I've been in these, and those rooms are still full of smoke drifting in from other nearby rooms. "you need to change restaurants, or sit in the non-smoking section"

LOLOL what non-smoking sections?! The only restaurants I've seen with non-smoking sections (and usually not even adequate since one table in the middle of a room full of smokers does not a non-smoking section make) are up-scale ones, foreign-run places, or family restaurants. So, maybe 1% of the restaurants in Tokyo, if even that. What about the other 99% that I might want to enjoy cheap food or drink at? What about the ones that my boss (a nonsmoker but far less sensitive than I) takes our staff out to? None of us smoke, and it's torture to sit in a room full of gross smoke.

At least we know that the monsters will win in the end. It's suffering through the cigarette smoke in the meantime that is awful.

Some of the smokers in here have said that they would not light up/put it out if someone asked them to. So I am asking now: please never, ever light up around nonsmokers. If no smokers lit up around nonsmokers, there would not even be a problem, would there?

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Wow. What a bunch of whiners this has turned into. "Don't light up near me! Ban ban ban!" Seriously, if you are outside, walk away or confront it. Not to mention the scientific evidence of your lungs being damaged by cigarette smoke more than any other airborne substance in open air is non-existent. Odor aside, get a grip and flip off. There is much more offensive odors looming. I have never come home with my clothes, nor my hair smelling of smoke from making an appearance outdoors.

As for enclosed locations, I agree with the separation, but that's as far as I go. There should be choices available, just like anything else. I don't know anyone who INSISTS on going to restaurants and whatnot where smoking is permitted, but if you feel the need to, too bad for you. Try cooking. I don't smoke, but I couldn't care less who is and who isn't. We've got bigger issues than this lying around.

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What shocks me the mos is seeing parents in smoking rooms at the local malls with their kids. Complete nuts..If they want to kill themselves fine, but don't take your kids with you.

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manfromamerica, whered you come from!

When did I suggest there was no effect? Who says it is your right to tell me what affects I can do to my body? And who says you know how tobacco effects, my body? These are reasons I would not have government intervention about tobacco. Somebody asked me to proove the point of quitting smoking. Thats pretty funny too, Id think you would know that there is such cases. I can even have a smoke with a friend and not be tempted to have another after that! It is all in the attitude to the tobacco, which if only could be grown without authorities breathing down your neck, and the monsters who say the plant is evil, maybe a balance could be found. And Im really sick of hearing the last word be about, what about the kids. I dont judge those vitamins you there feed your kids, or the crap you call food, or, let's see the controlled air-conditioned environment, or the other tonne of things that have cause and effect/affect on us throughtout a day. And if you want to talk about smoke, go camping! This too leads to authority control, and I can tell ya thered be no way Id hand my kids over to anybody who had such authoritarian type attitudes. You bring up your kids, and Ill bring up mine. And our kids will meet at the undokai.

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Please remember that for many people of the left , being “good” means taking the “right social position” on trendy issues of the day from heterosexual aids, DDT, social justice, reproductive rights, climate change, social justice, etc. It’s just part of the trinity of gender, race, and class taught in university. The social crusaders have murdered more people (Mao and Stalin) in the name of social equality than any other ideology in history. The left is religious in nature and totalitarian in practice. It’s really quite simple to understand. There are many good people on the left with good intentions, they are just misguided. Second hand smoke annoys (maybe kills) and alcohol causes far more damage to society across the board. But it doesn’t matter to the true believer in “social justice.” They are scary.

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To all the pro-smoking advocates.

You don't have the right to poison anyone other than yourselves with smoke. Period!

Public space is shared space, therefore you have to respect the common good, which means you cannot poison other people with your smoke.

Provision of designated smoking areas gives you a place where the common good is smoking. So smoke away in these spaces.

So called smoking sections in indoor spaces do not protect non-smokers from smoke. Therefore any place that does not provide true separation and isolation of smoke from non-smokers should be banned from allowing smoking inside. See points 1 and 2 for why.

Smoker illness is an unnecessary burden on medical services, especially in countries with socialized health care. To compensate for this taxes should be applied to tobacco to assure that the costs are offset. It isn't fair that smokers burden the system for people who don't smoke an therefore avoid the needless risks generated by smoking. Smoking is a choice, thus if you smoke you can choose to pay higher taxes to offset your higher risk.

Enforcement. Individuals should not have to fight for the right to smoke free air. Nor smokers for the right to smoke. Implement the above solutions and apply fines. Smoking in non-designated areas = fine. Complaining about smoke in designated smoking areas = your choice to be there so no right to stop the smoke. Very fair.

This is the global trend against smoking so pro-smokers get used to the idea. Change is happening much faster now that people are fully aware of the dangers. Governments are acting to protect the majority population and to offset unneeded costs to their social services. The only people still ok with smoking are the unfortunates who are addicted.

As for all the "authoritarian' nonsense comments. So traffic lights and speed limits are authoritarian? Crosswalks too? I guess any time the government or majority tell you to do something you don't like it is authoritarian. Very selective judgement I think on your part. Societies require laws to function. Anarchy does not work. And as a very liberal person politically and socially, I can assure you that common sense laws are hardly authoritarian. On the contrary, they are necessary to help protect the people from the selfish acts of others.

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Stomach cancer is the number one health care costs here in Japan (Soy sauce) and cholesterol in the United States. I’m not defending smokers and I really believe that smokers should follow the rules and smoke in designated areas. It just seems to me reading the posts that it’s just hysteria like the other trends mentioned. The epidemiology report that this idea is based on makes a dubious jump that second hand smoke kills. I know of no other reports that make the claim. Authoritarianism and totalitarianism are different definitions. Personally, I would rather be governed by the first 100 people in a phone book rather than so called “experts.”

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I've met too many non-smoking monsters in America ("progressives") who ironically demand that marijuana be made legal - and its 'enjoyment' even allowed in public - for me to take them seriously.

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You're right.

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shakuji. Denial of the evidence is your right too. But it does not in any way change the fact that second hand smoke is a real danger. All it proves is your capacity for denial.

Egalityranny. No one is trying to ban smoking. How more clear can I be than my previous post here? We are not trying to ban smoking. Just protect people from second hand smoke. And while doing so provide places for people to smoke. What is so hard about his concept?

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There will always be a voiciferous group who want to interfere in other's freedoms. and they are ussually more committed and fanatical than those whose behaviour they seek to change. So they win. and another freedom disappears.

Anti smoking fascists is right.

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Mittsu. How does wanting to protect your health and that of your family and children constitute fascism? Do you want to protect your loved ones from things that endager them?

Don't you get it? People don't want your smoke. If you want to smoke, fine go ahead and smoke. No one is trying to take anything away from you. All we are saying is that you must equally respect our right not to have to breathe smoke. The solution to which I have already clearly stated. 1. Smoke in designated areas. 2. Those areas have to truly protect non-smokers from the smoke. That's it. No advanced degree required to understand this. So why can't you people understand this concept?

You define smoking as freedom. Well non-smokers experience as an infringement upon their freedom and rights. So the answer that provides smokers with places to smoke and protection for th rest of us as about as egalitarian and free as is imaginable.

So stop with the foolishness about fascists, tyranny and the great repression of smoker's rights. This solution is balanced, fair, protects both sides of the arugument and is certainly inline with the most pedestrian of social legislation. Nothing about this is remotely robbing anyone of any freedoms. Get a clue already.

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I cannot deny something I don't know about. I am open to persusion based on the facts. First tell the truth,then give your opinion.Can anyone point to another scientific report other than the Epidimolgy report? I would like to read another if there is one. I've looked but cannot find any other.

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The issue isn't smokers rights. It's the hysteria and totalinarism of the second hand smoke crusders belief in dubios science. It seems evidence is irrelevent to the true beliver.

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Here is a list. I can't imagine you had trouble finding validation of thi s issue since my search took all of 30 seconds. Maybe you just don't want to find the evidence that is so readily available out there. Hard to be convinced if you don't bother looking for the evidence isn't it?

EPA General Article including links to studies. http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/healtheffects.html

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2X_Secondhand_Smoke-Clean_Indoor_Air.asp

2nd hand smoke and mental imparement http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1879386,00.html http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.cfm?pageid=P08926

Cost of 2nd hand smoke http://robinson.gsu.edu/news/05/smoke_study.html

Study by EPA http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/etsfs.html http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/etsfs.html

If you want more there is a lot more out there. Try searching "WHO and second hand smoke", "surgeon general and second hand smoke", "pregnancy and second hand smoke", "chilren and second hand smoke" and use your common sense to search for more. It is out there is massive quantity if you care to see it.

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Eating in a restaurant IS a right.

LOL! Wrong. Where does it say this in any constitution? And where does it prevent a restaurant OWNER (it is a PRIVATE establishment) from making a restaurant as he sees fit?

I'm a non-smoker but as long as people are not puffing smoke in my face I don't care. Separating smokers from non-smokers on your cell phone is stupid. And what scientific evidence does one person have to say that smokers are losers and have low academic records. How insane!

Right on!

I know of no other reports that make the claim. Authoritarianism and totalitarianism are different definitions. Personally, I would rather be governed by the first 100 people in a phone book rather than so called “experts.”

Again, right on!!

Denial of the evidence is your right too.

zzzzzzz

No one is trying to ban smoking.

Yes, you are. Not to mention you claiming smokers are trying to cause fatal harm to your family.

Well non-smokers experience as an infringement upon their freedom and rights.

Nonsense. What exactly do you think "rights" are anyway?

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manfromamerica. I have given you clear proposals. You don't like them, bring a counter proposal to the table.

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Same challenge. Come back with something tangible. You just post contrary quips. If you really disagree, how about coming back with some valid arguments, counter proposals or points?

Moderator: Readers, please stop going around in circles. If you have nothing new to add, then please refrain from posting the same old arguments.

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No advanced degree required to understand this. So why can't you people understand this concept?

Because smoking affects cognitive function?

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tkoind2- Hey mate! You didn't answer the questions. What do you think is a "right"? And how is eating in a restaurant a right?

I don't smoke, I eat out in restaurants, and I am almost never exposed to second hand smoke. I don't see how this is so difficult for you to do as well.

Smoking is a legal activity. If you want to designate non-smoking areas, fine. However, if any area is not designated "non-smoking", then it is OK to smoke, and not the other way around.

Moderator: Readers, from here on, posts that just repeat the same comments as earlier posts, such as this one, will be removed. Move the discussion along or take a break.

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Cleo. I am starting to think the same thing. What I really want to hear are some counter proposals or tanglible evidence from the smoker side. Instead we get words like fascist, tyranny and fear mongering over the development of a police state bent on the erradication of all rights starting with smoking.

Nearly every major health entity on the planet agrees that second hand smoke causes a myriad of problems in non-smokers. Everything from cognative issues, cancer and other developmental issues.

On the other hand there is little or no evidence that second hand smoke is harmless. This fact alone should be more than justification for laws to widely prohibit smoking. And from a purely moral point of view, should be compelling for smokers to respect the rights of non-smokers to choose not to expose themselves to these risks.

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Let's take the advice of the moderator and move things forward. Let's talk about solutions.

Proposal: The evidence proves that second hand smoke is harmful, therefore non-smokers should be protected from second hand smoke while provisions made to allow smokers to smoke where they will not infringe upon others.

Public Places: No smoking in public places except where designated as smoking areas.

Provision of places to smoke outside: Outdoor areas for smoking will be posted and open for smokers to use. Provision of trash recepticals will be available. We can even throw in a way to light up.

Provison of places inside to smoke: Public places are not allowed to have indoor smoking unless a separate walled off space is provided. Proper ventilation must also be provided to assure that the smoke is contained inside the sealed off space.

Private establishments and smoking. Private may decide for themselves if the will or will not allow smoking. Private places that are open to the public must restrict smoking to outdoor designated areas. Or they must provide a sealed smoking area with proper ventillation to protect non-smokers.

On the street: No smoking on the street except in posted smoking locations.

So both sides win here. Smokers are protected to smoke where they like. Their favorite hang out spots may elect to continue allowing smoking or may ban it. If they allow it they must provide a proper space. If they do not allow smoking it is there decision to do so.

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CNN covered this today. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/04/15/lah.japan.no.smoking.cnn?hpt=T2

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Japan has a department in charge of this that means change is truly on the way. Nothing will stop it now. Smokers will have to comply with increasingly limited public places to smoke. It is good for them in the long run, and good for the general public who want to avoid exposure to second hand smoke.

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do you want to ban fatty foods in restaurants? After all, people who go there can't control what salt and cholesterol their food contains.

But the point is, restaurants are eating establishments. I go there to eat. Not to smoke. And the folks who choose fatty food from the menu do so at their own risk...that food goes into their body and doesn't affect anyone else's. Not a very good argument if you are trying to support sending nicotine and tar through the air over to where I am trying to taste my meal, be it salad, rice or kushikatsu.

Just the same...I really think smokers should have a place to smoke. Designated smoking areas..ah frig it...no matter what I or anyone else types about smoking areas, we are just going to get rebuttals about being fascists and wanting to outlaw smoking and that we are just imagining health risks from smoking, etc.

Many smokers cannot quit or at least don't want to. Either they are addicted to it physically (their body needs the nicotine) or mentally (certain situations make them want to light up; it's habitual rather than a physical need). Those folks should indeed be given spots where they can light up but such that it doesn't affect others who choose not to light up.

For many years, non-smokers have had to be the ones to seek out somewhere special to enjoy fresher air...but it is coming to light that non-smokers are in the vast majority so it would make more sense for them to have more space and the smaller number of people to have less space.

Having or not having space for non-smokers and space for smokers isn't really the issue; these things are already starting to happen in Japan (welcome to the 80s!), the newer problem now are those who choose to ignore non-smoking designations and light up anyway where they are prohibited to. That is the bigger issue here.

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tkoind2, again many, many, MANY thanks for your perseverance and providing all the information and their sources. Very useful. Smokers die hard...literally. I was thrown out of kilter (stomach, lungs, feel excessively hot/uncomfortable) by prolonged exposure to 2nd hand smokers at the range again today, because it was cold and they had all the windows closed and covered with tent material to keep the place warmer. The point is, the bad feeling stayed with me for 3 hours, until I had time to take an afternoon nap, eat some relaxing food and drink and take an hour of sleep to totally relax my system..a luxury in Tokyo life, as you can easily imagine. But without that counterbalance, 2nd hand smoke just drives me up the wall, and for hours afterwards. It virtuallyl ruins my day. That's something people who aren't negatively affected can't understand. That the uncomfortability stays with us for hours on end. Its not just during the time that we're exposed. So tkoind2's idea of having a separate location, and a location that protects the non-smokers from being disturbed by the 2nd hand smoke is a very important factor. Not just having a separate location. Go the extra 10 yards.

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And to be more specific, the prolonged exposure (anything more than 5 mintues) to 2nd smoke leaves a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. Its not just an imaginative fantasy. My mouth feels like its consumed an inordinate amount of stale smoke, which in fact it just has. Even after 286 blogs, no one has mentioned this aspect. The foul TASTE that 2nd hand smoke produces and we are forced to inhale stays with us whether we like it or not....and that's the whole point of this blog. We don't like it, and we're standing up for our rights not to be overwhelmed by it.

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love a decent Cuban.

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Can't understand the joke of "love a decent Cuban"....but to continue. When I objected to the "attendant" on duty at the range, to please open one of the curtains blocking all the areas of the outdoors partitions. He said, "Why don't you go up to the 2nd floor. That's all non-smoking." (I didn't know this from the start). As I was almost done with my training session, I told him I'll finish and then next time I'll choose to go up to the 2nd floor. But later that day, and now the day after it riles me. Why is the the smoker and their lot being given preferrential treatment (and prime location) on the first floor, and we non-smokers relegated to the 2nd. Its like saying "Go to the back of the bus". Anyone who knows Jpn golf ranges knows, 1st floor is more expensive per ball, and more interesting to practice from than the 2nd floor, which is slightly dangerous (falling over the ledge if tripping or something), closer (distance wise) to the ceiling/net, and possessing perceptual difference of hitting the ball down to a target instead of level target.

The smokers congregate, laugh and smoke, and are oblvious that their smoking bothers those of us down the lane in the non-smoking section. Just like at the restaurants that have no meaningful partition and not adequate ventilation.

As I type, even 15 hours later, my lungs still feel deflated from today's range effect. So I have to put up with it, and I have to "go to the 2nd floor". The point is, enough is enough. Kanagawa Pref. (and Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo) have banned smoking from its public facilities. Why? Read any of tkoind2's stated research above if you have to and find out. To non-smokers, we know why without having to read it. We feel it. We don't have to be told we're being abused, our lungs tell us in no uncertain terms. They are our natural barameters. "Love a decent Cuban?" Hardy ha ha my arse.

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And who is the joke on anyways? The attendant, out of an act of kindness, offered me a throat candy as if that would assuage my uncomfortability with the 2nd hand smoke. I left the candy on the table. That is the level of conscioiusness of general people. They benignly think any discomfort from 2nd hand smoke can easily be relieved by a piece of candy or mouthwash etc. Do these things cure cancer? And don't they know how painful cancer is? These sweet remedies do NOTHING to alleviate the nausia and other terrible discomfort of the disease. Its no laughing matter. And for all this, we are labelled "fanatics, crybabies, liberals ad infinitum." Its a really sad state of affairs. And that's why we have come to rally about this very "benign" topic to the tune of 289 entries. This is our paltry sounding board. But just as an idea whose time has come and can't be denied by the jokesters and name callers, by continuing to demand our equal rights of not-being breathed on (not treading on my lungs thank you), we will fight for this right for our own health and those of our loved ones, and society in general.

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When I objected to the "attendant" on duty at the range, to please open one of the curtains blocking all the areas of the outdoors partitions. He said, "Why don't you go up to the 2nd floor. That's all non-smoking." (I didn't know this from the start). As I was almost done with my training session, I told him I'll finish and then next time I'll choose to go up to the 2nd floor. But later that day, and now the day after it riles me. Why is the the smoker and their lot being given preferrential treatment (and prime location) on the first floor, and we non-smokers relegated to the 2nd. Its like saying "Go to the back of the bus".

As a smoker and as I said before I am fine with having designated smoking areas. Even having to go outside of bars and restaurants. I dont mind.

That being said, this post is ridiculous. You have the segragation, you have an entire floor...and you are complaining? Sorry pal, Ill go to designated smoking spots and only smoke in them, but when you have your non smoking areas, quit crying...you got what you want.

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Actually, it would make much more sense for the smokers to be sent to the upper floor of anywhere that decides a whole floor can be designated for smoking. The smoke does travel upward and I have been to upper floor that were non-smoking but they just smelled of the smoke that was coming up the stairwell from below. Non-smokers should have the first floor and the smokers the second; simple logic.

And to be honest...love yourock's comment! All this back and forth and suddenly a random statement! Cracked me up!!

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The smoke does travel upward and I have been to upper floor that were non-smoking but they just smelled of the smoke that was coming up the stairwell from below.

YES! This is even worse than being in the same room as a smoking section-- these second-hand floors always reek of smoke, just as much or worse than the smoking sections. I'm not sure what the logic of these is. We want to be separated to get away from the smoke, do the designers just not understand? Or is it that they want to look like they care, but seriously have no clue that it doesn't seem that way at all to nonsmokers?

Another solution would be to only allow electronic cigarettes in public places, seeing as they do not produce the smoke that so annoys nonsmokers. Perhaps they could be sold commonly inside of establishments that smokers traditionally associate with smoking, like bars and clubs? I would have no problem with smoking if it did not affect me personally, so this seems like a viable solution. Though I wonder if smokers would be willing to do the trade-in. They never took off in the US, but I'm not sure why as I've never smoked myself and have no desire to.

Have any of the smokers on here tried an electronic cigarette? What is the difference, aside from the obvious smoke/smell?

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"We want to be separated to get away from the smoke, do the designers just not understand? Or is it that they want to look like they care, but seriously have no clue that it doesn't seem that way at all to nonsmokers? Precisely. Just read genji17's barking jibberick. No, you misunderstand, non-smokers don't have "the whole floor" of separation and still unhappy about it. There IS no separation other than 5 meters of the same floor (no wall) are for smokers and 10-15 meters are for non-smokers. That's it. Funny thing though, THE SMOKE doesn't know its not supposed to travel past stall 5, and it does too good of a job penetrating into the "non-smoking areas" on its OWN., there IS no wall. the fumes spread all the way to slot 16 in a heartbeat.

Concerning e-cigarettes, I know nothing about them, but I imagine the one drawback is that they don't need a lighter to ignight them, and lighting a fire and inhaling high temperature smoke is part of the "high" that the smokers crave. So if that's missing, they can't get the same flaming "high", or so I imagine.

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Just read genji17's barking jibberick. No, you misunderstand, non-smokers don't have "the whole floor" of separation and still unhappy about it. There IS no separation other than 5 meters of the same floor (no wall) are for smokers and 10-15 meters are for non-smokers.

Just responding to your jibberick with my own. Your the one that posted the below...Thats all non-smoking = entire floor where I come from...

When I objected to the "attendant" on duty at the range, to please open one of the curtains blocking all the areas of the outdoors partitions. He said, "Why don't you go up to the 2nd floor. That's all non-smoking."

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Hey genji-monogari-17, the 1st floor (where I normally practice) is where they allow the smoking and there are no partitions. The 2nd floor (where I don't choose to go because its elevated (obviously) and slightly different feeling for chipping etc. is where smoking is not allowed. Get it? So to say, "this post is ridiculous. You have the segragation, you have an entire floor...and you are complaining? misses the ENTIRE POINT. To state it again so even Gen-chan can understand. The first floor has heavily smoking area for slots 1-5, plus a machine that does no good situated in the corner where the smokers from 6-15 go to take a break, while slots 6-15 (where I normally practice) get the downwind plenty, especially on the day i made this entry when then boarded up ALL the windows/walls with rubber padding because it was cold (its an outdoor facility) and the whole first floor from stall 1 to stall 16 stank like a smokers bar.

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hello? You come and cherry pick after 257 entries? We're talking about a matter of life and breath here, not religious persecution. As tkoind2 pointed out several times and eloquently, non-smokers have THE SAME RIGHTS in public as smokers. That means 50-50 or maybe even 60-40 etc., since the laws are finally coming down on our side. You can run but you cannot hide, and neither can your first, second, or third hand smoke. Get a life.

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@isthistheend

Read my posts, I agree. If you dont want to breath smoke, you shouldnt have too.

Howver you have an entire floor and you complain. I dont care that you prefer the first floor, you have a segregated spot. Go upstairs and quit crying. You have a non-smoking spot, you choose to join the smokers, the 2nd hand smoke now becomes your fault.

You all say you want compromise, a spot to go and not breath smoke and enjoy your activity, you get your compromise and its not enough. Its not good for chipping...? Really? Neither are ultra compressed golf balls.

I dont run, i dont hide, I smoke in designated smoking areas where I am allowed. If you choose to hang out by me, I dont care if you breath my second hand smoke.

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Genji, stop smoking this instant. Do not pass go, do not pass Boardwalk. Quit now, before you type your next sentence. End of discussion. Bye Byeeeeeee.

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This is a great post. you got cheap shoes online .I like cheap designer shoes as well give you designer shoes outlet

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I don't smoke and NEVER will~! I love it in Japan~! Japan needs to ban smoking anywhere and everywhere for their health, life span, and reduce pollution to the country! It's a waste of time when you could be doing more productive things!!!!! Japan already has the radiation problem because of the enormous magnitude 9 earthquake in Tohoku on March 11th, 2011. And since they're not going to be using a miniature atomic bomb to destroy the radiation waves, it's probably going to take at least 30 yrs to a century to get rid of it "naturally"! TONS of food products and other things are contaminated and damaged because of it! There's going to be NOTHING that's safe to eat in Japan and lessen the life span! On top of that, there's already LOADS of homeless people in the Tohoku region! Japan also is STILL having LOADS of earthquakes, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, and other problems!

Get rid of all these problems and become an even more healthy country Japan!

Ganbare Nippon!!!!!

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