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Kanagawa's new anti-smoking ordinance a bane on businesses

85 Comments

Kanagawa Prefecture is not a good place to be if you are fond of tobacco. You can't smoke on the street, or in a taxi or in a public building. And now they're going after the restaurants.

On April 1, 2010, Japan's first regulation requiring separation of smokers from non-smokers at indoor facilities, went into force. Those found in violation of the new law can be fined up to 50,000 yen.

Now almost half a year later, Flash (Sept 21) follows up on the implementation of the "Kanagawa Prefectural Government Ordinance on Prevention of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Public Facilities." The ordinance requires a total ban on smoking in "Class 1" facilities, which include hospitals, schools, theaters, libraries, government offices, public baths and so on.

"Class 2" facilities, which include food and beverage facilities, hotels and ryokan, game centers, karaoke shops, etc, having a floor area larger than 100 square meters (apart from their kitchen), are given a choice between imposing a complete ban or separately designated areas for smokers and non-smokers.

Then come the "Special Class 2" establishments of under 100 square meters, as well as those which operate under the Law Controlling Public Morals, such as love hotels, mahjongg parlors, pachinko shops, etc, which have been served notice that they have an "obligation" to comply with the ordinance. So while violators cannot be fined as yet, the ordinance will be reviewed every three years, and it's entirely possible these businesses will come under the same restrictions in the future.

Cracking down on smokers may be bad for business. When similar anti-smoking regulations were introduced incrementally in the UK, Flash notes that pub closures rose 14-fold in just two years, from 102 in 2005 to 1,409 in 2007.

"Even my regulars don't come in like they used to," the female proprietor of a Yokohama eatery complains to the magazine. A wage earner in his 40s tells Flash, "Thanks to the law, I do more of my drinking at home now."

Caught in a bind between the business recession and the new ordinance, Kanagawa business operators must lay out funds for partitions, ventilation ducts, "air curtains" and so on, which can easily run from 1 to 5 million yen with installation fees worked in -- and they resent being saddled with unwelcome expenses at a time when business conditions are already so bad.

According to the results of a survey conducted by Cross Marketing KK, the new smoking restrictions represented the second largest factor in the decline at three types of food and beverage establishments after household economy measures. The reason for not patronizing was 29% at family restaurants (as opposed to 43.9% who refrained due to budgetary reasons); 36.3% at fast food restaurants (as opposed to 38.5% to save money); and 32.2% at cafes and coffee shops (versus 38%). Hotels and ryokan, which have were affected the least (6.2%).

The survey also asked 1,000 subjects if their frequency of patronizing establishments had changed since Kanagawa's imposition of the anti-smoking ordinance. Only a tiny figure said they are more likely to visit a establishment with restrictions in force -- under 5% for all types -- whereas those responding that they had curtailed their patronage due to the new law ranged from 49.9% for family restaurants to 65% for "izakaya" (Japanese pubs).

In other findings, 65.4% of respondents were in agreement that the ordinance was likely to create hardships for small food and beverage businesses; 61% said it has become more difficult for them to find venues able to accommodate mixed groups of smokers and non-smokers; and 51.7% agreed that "If smokers showed more consideration, there would have been no need for such a law in the first place."

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

85 Comments
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I'm for keeping smoke from non-smokers, but even pachinko parlors and love hotels? Pachinko's always filled with smoke, I'd think anybody already there today is okay with that. And in a hotel room, only you and your partner is there. How do they even enforce this? The hotel should be able to handle this just fine.

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Whining smokers get thee to a nunnery. I've put up with your filthy emissions for more than 20 years. Tough sh**, is what I say to you.

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“If smokers showed more consideration, there would have been no need for such a law in the first place.”

Lazy people. All they have to do is step outside for a few minutes. But they have to clutch their drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

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this should be prosecuted under the illegal drug laws in Japan with zero tolerance for nicotine, a very strong and addictive drug. Much worse than marijuana. Yet one is banned and the other not.

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Just have a total ban on them. No good thing comes from smoking. And people DO need to be protected from their own stupidity. never met a cancer patient saying they are glad they did it their way and enjoyed their years of smoking.

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never met a cancer patient saying they are glad they did it their way and enjoyed their years of smoking.

Have you ever seen Bill Hick's last ever gig? Recorded a month before he died of pancreatic cancer?

The hotel ban is surprising, but Having to get rid of the smell for the next customers can take a while and even big hotels have a no smoking policy for all rooms now.

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“Even my regulars don’t come in like they used to,” the female proprietor of a Yokohama eatery complains to the magazine. A wage earner in his 40s tells Flash, “Thanks to the law, I do more of my drinking at home now.”

And there are certain places I don't go to, because I'm sick and tired of breathing in the smoke.

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but Having to get rid of the smell for the next customers can take a while...

The problem with a room at a hotel that has been "cleaned" of smoke or "deodorized" as opposed to a purely Non-Smoking Room is that the cleaned/deod room has ben subjected to an Ozone generation machine for about 1 hour...

Ozone generation in an enclosed space has been done for generations for deodorization of everything from drapes & dry cleaning to offensive restaurant food odors & crime scene clean-ups....

The problem is that Ozone - when used by a untrained professional can be quite dangerous - although seldom lethal can make you quite sick... Generally it's fine as long as the ozone is properly evacuated after application but in the case of the Japanese Hotel industry hey do not and probably can not do this effectively... Hence the strong Ozone odor sometimes when you enter a hotel room after asking for N/S or complaining of the cigarette smell...

The business model for the general BANNING of smoking in public facilities does and has worked in most Western Cultures where it has been implemented - - the problem is that in Japanese Culture EVERYONE feels ENTITLED so they can not and perhaps will not conform to the concept that they need to do this for the health of others - if not for themselves....

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Nearly 50% of people reduced their visits to family restaurants as a result of the no-smoking law, yet less than 50% of the population are smokers. Therefore, some non-smokers gave up visiting restaurants because of the smoking ban?

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let the business decide, either all smoking or all non-smoking and then let the customers/employees choose to patronize/work there. the business owner is the one who pays the bill and derives his income from his customers so he should decide. if you don't want to go in a smoking establishment, don't go. in the end it will naturally fall out that the majority of places will be non-smoking as is majority of the population but there will always be some places that will cater to smokers. but of course this is too practical/logical for the anti-smoking nazis who will insist on imposing their will even though they don't have to pay the bills.

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Deal with it Smokers! We are fighting back. And if you had any common sense what so ever, you would quit on your own. Your smoke is killing you, your loved ones, random people forced to be around you when you smoke and more. It is draining the medial system of money when you die slowly of cancer or other smoking related disease.

Go Kanagawa!!! I hope the rest of the country soon follows!!

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One more note FDS. Smoking is not a private affair. There are social, health and economic consequences that effect all of us. Public places should be 100% smoke free. If people want to kill themselves, they can do it at home, if they own the place.

Further, all smokers should pay more for health insurance.

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All they have to do is step outside for a few minutes. But they have to clutch their drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

ohh, they are so mean! (wimper)

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actually as the smokers are forced to stay home, then the non-smokers will want a place to go where they are not allowed to smoke. Then the business will pick up as the non-smokers are sold on going out. You can't change habits overnight. Not quiting smoking, nor bar hopping either.

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And if you had any common sense what so ever, you would quit on your own.

Maybe you can write the official list of what are acceptable products for all people to consume, and in what acceptable amounts? That would be helpful. :-)

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Agree with sf2k.

Also using the UK as a measuring stick is wrong. The time the smoking ban came into effect also saw an increase in the Beer-tax, economy diving and many places that closed down ONLY served drinks and NO Food, etc.

So drinking at home got cheaper and places that served only drinks couldn't attract new customers like families, etc who already suffered from declining funds.

If the business sees a decline in one group of customers than they need to adjust and offer something that will attract new customers. Just standard business practices, IMO.

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i really hope they would ban smoking in public especially restaurants. some family restaurants like Bamiyan and Saizeriya doesn't have a fully contained room for smokers just a divider and the smoke goes out to nearby non-smoking tables. i'm a pregnant woman and i believe that second hand smoke is a threat to a person's health. i hope the health of the people will be more considered since the tobacco smoke of others is an open threat or attack of one person to another, especially to children. it's destructive and abusive for the user and those non-smoker and their family. it's high time for the government to protect the health of it's people from hazardous tobacco smoke and it's environment. ill-mannered smokers just threw their c'butts on the street...please ban smokers in public and give them smoking stations so that they can't harm the health of those who does not smoke....

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Ban smoking completely, there is no place in a society for it. It makes one's teeth brown and smelly, the smoke opens ones pours and bad for your skin, and makes the smoker and innocent bystanders stink as well. The problem with Tokyo is there is not enough non-smoking restaurants to choose so people have to bear with it. By the time the smoker realizes it is bad for them, it is too late...emphysema, lung and cancer diseases is just not worth the risk of smoking let alone all the hygiene problems associated with it.

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Ban smoking and watch the Yakuza celebrate as the tobacco runners become rich.

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Kanagawa (well Yokohama) was also the first place in Japan to ban public urination, back in Meiji times. Look how long it took them to deal with cigarettes. I wonder what they will outlaw next.

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Well done,Kanagawa! You made an example to other prefecture by implementing anti smoking law.

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Nearly 50% of people reduced their visits to family restaurants as a result of the no-smoking law, yet less than 50% of the population are smokers. Therefore, some non-smokers gave up visiting restaurants because of the smoking ban?

Yes, it is actually logical. The smoker no longer wants to go there, so will not go with whoever he or she had wanted to go with - smoker and non-smoker will both go somewhere else.

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About time! At last I can go to a place and leave without smelling all nasty. I hope Tokyo and the rest of the prefectures follow that road.

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Sounds like too much too soon...like smoking bans elsewhere they should be allowed to smoke outside the building.I see loads of people back home huddled outside pubs having cigarettes before going back inside to finish their pint.A blanket ban would put so many people off going out in the first place.these Draconian measures will only stifle business.

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Umm people, Japan goes though these sort of puritanical changes every time the economy is tight, and they're rarely well thought out or positive in the long run.

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I was in Kanagawa last month, puffing away. When some ojisan walks up and tells me to put it out. So I did. IN MY HAND. On the calluses I have from working with ceramics (my hobby). He about freaked. Then I lit up another one and walked away.

If you all are so concerned about air pollution, I hope you are all driving a Prius.

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CoolCali, you da man! Next time just keep the off the butts entirely. Or try putting out the butt on your butt and see if that's as painless as a callussed hand. I doubt it. Your second hand smoke offends, but this must be the 5th time to start that debate that tkoind2 and smithinjapan will eloquently come to the fore on, so I'll stop here.

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Leave it up to the business. If they want to allow smokers, let 'em. If they don't, let em.

You don't HAVE to visit a business that allows smoking, but a business MUST cater to whichever crowd will bring them the most money... or whomever else they would like.

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Great move! As a non-smoker, I can't stand the stuff and have no clue as to why anyone would want to smoke? Yuck! But to each his own, let's hope this will happen throughout Japan. What gets me is when you go to a restaurant of some coffee shop that has a smoking and non-smoking sections that often the smoking section doesn't have any doors or is a designated area where you can light up. And for some bizarre reason people think that the smoke will stay and hang around the smokers and not ease on over to the non-smoking section. This is only the beginning.

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Cracking down on smokers may be bad for business. When similar anti-smoking regulations were introduced incrementally in the UK, Flash notes that pub closures rose 14-fold in just two years, from 102 in 2005 to 1,409 in 2007.

This is the effect that banning smoking universally will have. Fine in fashionable areas, but it will destroy the izakayas in inaka.

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I was in Kanagawa last month, puffing away. When some ojisan walks up and tells me to put it out. So I did. IN MY HAND. On the calluses I have from working with ceramics (my hobby). He about freaked. Then I lit up another one and walked away.

If you all are so concerned about air pollution, I hope you are all driving a Prius.

One wonders what "CoolCali" did with the butt after showing off... Odds are it was tossed to the ground.

They invoked the smoking ban in Virginia restaurants/bars a year ago and all the dire warnings about bars shutting down left and right were just a bunch of B.S. It's true that smokers CAN go outside and light one up, though.

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This went into effect of NO SMOKING IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS & that means bars, to restanrants & such.

Out come this new word of "Second Hand Tobacco Smoke" & of all things I am one of those but went through 65 yrs of my parents very heavy smokers, to my strange headaches to sometimes Migraine Headaches till when the air was clean I was free of second hand tobacco smoke.

Now some parents are trying to smoke out of their homes & children NOT realize the stench of tobacco smoke on their clothing is somewhat harmful.

A few yrs back in a gym I worked out in IF(?) a salesman bout to enter the gym to sell something, took his last smoke in his car, but was shocked when the owners told him to leave because of the smell of tobacco once it was smoked.

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The above was regarding Canada. Even so many have given up smoking that were sales people to workers at different shops as the rest of the staff or their customers would turn away from someone that continued to smoke no matter what.

Well do I remember Doctors or Nurses in hospitals were smoking in said hospitals or their main Doctor's Office. Now you never see any of the above & it is only when those visiting the USA can smell the reek of tobacco smoke & YES that turns them away.

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I would like to see smoking banned in restaurants. Bars a bit iffy. Don't understand the bans on smoking outside, though. Agree with Jason6. Yakuza would be the real beneficiary of a total smoking ban.

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2nd hand smoke is dangerous, offensive and invasive. It should be banned indoors everywhere but private residences and should be allowed outside in open areas and 10 meters away from buildings and doorways. If cigarette smoking is okay, then i should be allowed to bar b cue on my balcony.

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Even though I am a non-smoker, I cannot agree with such regulations. I can't see violation of human rights and over-regulation as a right solution to prevent smoking.

What can be done is:

Smokers are not be eligible for health-care insurance for any respiratory and heart diseases. Anyone caught in second hand smoke can sue smoker for assault.
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So ,say I light up on the street anyway, they gonna have a "Special"smokers prison? ,Gonna lock me up?? Its gonna get UGLY,Real UGLY!!!

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Lots of talk about smokers feeling "entitled." If you're a non-smoker and the establishment you are considering going into is a smoking establishment, go somehwere else.

It is senseless to browbeat beat smokers because whether non-smokers like it or not, it is a LEGAL activity. If it's so offensive, work on getting it outlawed.

I'm much more offended by the drunks who wander out of bars vomitting on the ground and groping at bystanders. Maybe we should ban public drunkeness as that too can be dangerous. Vice squad all over the place...

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@madam- "..it is a LEGAL activity.if its so offensive work on getting it outlawed." did you read the article? that is exactly what its about. in Kanogawa it isnt LEGAL anymore. "the drunks who wander out of bars vomitting on the ground and groping at bystanders".. thats hilarious. Melodramatic are we? yeah that happens all the time everywhere. How much time do you spend wandering night life districts at 2am?

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Its gonna get UGLY,Real UGLY!!!

Reality check - if you smoke, you're already ugly. Real ugly.

Smokers are not be eligible for health-care insurance for any respiratory and heart diseases.

What smokers do to their own bodies is their own business, and I don't think I would lose much sleep over them having to pay through the nose for treatment directly related to their smoking. But what about the respiratory illness of their second-hand-smoke-inhaling offspring? Are we going to say that smoke-belching Mum/Dad must pay full whack for their kids' illnesses, and if they can't afford it (or object and get ugly about it) the kid goes without treatment? What toddler is going to sue his or her own parents?

whether non-smokers like it or not, it is a LEGAL activity. If it's so offensive, work on getting it outlawed.

It seems it's no longer legal in Kanagawa.

a salesman bout to enter the gym to sell something, took his last smoke in his car, but was shocked when the owners told him to leave

I understand the toxins remain on the breath of the smoker for up to an hour after he's stubbed the fagend out in the ashtray. The owners were right, and the salesman was ignorant.

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Ban smoking and watch the Yakuza celebrate as the tobacco runners become rich.

Ban smoking outright but not nicotine: let the addicts get their fix in other ways that don't bother the majority. Hell, let them inject it for an even quicker hit.

"But I like the smoke!" they'll whine. Absolute bollocks! Smoke drug-free cigarettes for a year then tell me you still like the smoke and I might believe you.

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Tobaco is an addictive drug that tampers with the brain. The user is convinced that their second hand smoke doesn't or shouldn't bother anybody. I wish Tokyo would follow Kanagawa's lead. I'd be able to bring my kids out to restaurants.

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The smoking ban hasn't been fully implemented yet. Establishments with floor space over 100 sq. meters have until April 1, 2011 to go all non-smoking or create separately designated areas for smokers and non-smokers. Further, the first time an establishment is caught violating the law, they simply get a warning.

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I'd be able to bring my kids out to restaurants.

Nothing stopping you from bringing them out into Saitama for the yearly burn up of crop waste.

All you whiners are putting the ashtray manufacturers out of business

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A simple combinatio of policies are required.

Band smoking in public places. Period. Build more of those little fishtank places where smokers can smoke and exchange second hand smoke. Tax the hell out of tobacco. Something on the order of 500-700 times the current tax rate. If you smoke, you pay for for health insurance. Call it an added insurance since you are more likely to be a burden on the system. Provide public funded help for people to quit. The least we can do once we cut you off.

Soon after, smoking will be seen for the absurd waste of money and extreme danger that it is. A barbaric past habit that no rational person engages in any longer.

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“If smokers showed more consideration, there would have been no need for such a law in the first place.”

What do they mean? To me "consideration" means not smoking at all, so how is this a change from the law?

For my part, I am VERY happy that I live in Kanagawa. This was one of the main reasons I chose to move here. In fact, there is a restaurant down the street from my house that served AMAZING food the one time I went, but when someone lit up, it ruined the whole night. Looks like I can finally go back! I can't wait! I need to look up the full details on this law so that I know that if they aren't doing their part, it's within my right to call the police on them (or whatever I can do).

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bdiego at 06:24 AM JST - 14th September I'm for keeping smoke from non-smokers, but even pachinko parlors and love hotels? Pachinko's always filled with smoke, I'd think anybody already there today is okay with that. And in a hotel room, only you and your partner is there. How do they even enforce this? The hotel should be able to handle this just fine.

I've been wanting to try pachinko for ages and see what all the hype is about, but never went in due to all of the smoke. Now I can, yay! As for hotels, if someone smoked in the room recently it's very uncomfortable for a nonsmoker and if anyone is smoking in a nearby room or hall it often seeps into the room. Can't wait for a full ban!

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Cheers to Kanagawa for having the stones to get this ordinance passed. Now if only Tokyo could follow suit. Unfortunately, outside of Chiyoda Ward (why could they along succeed?) and only on the streets, not in the restaurants etc. Tokyo is still smokers heaven.....much to my lungs chagrin.

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Good news for me and I think on an upcoming trip I will base myself in Yokohama instead of Tokyo. The less smoke the better.

Where I live now smoking is banned in all restaurants, all pubs and even in casinos...and no, the world did not end.

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Japan should launch an anti-smoking ordinance all over Japan in restaurants, bars, shopping places, game centers, taxies, public streets and every public place. I think this would be good for the non smokers and much more healthier for everyone in Japan.

Oh, but wait one moment, if they do that, Japanese would live much longer. Maybe that is a bad idea.

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"Thanks to the law"... it couldn't be the economy and that people just can't afford 900 yen for a glass of beer. While salaries have gone down, products have become more expensive or not reduced in years. And this business owners says "Thanks to the law?" Blame someone else.... Japanese live in their own world.

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I can remember when smoking was permitted in Tokyo subway stations and hospital waiting rooms. And I couldn't eat in a restaurant or enjoy a cup of coffee without carrying home the stink from somebody else's Seven Star or High-Lites in my clothing and hair. Nice to see Japan making progress, and you can bet other municipalities and prefectures are watching Kanagawa.

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The main reason I eat at home 90% of the time is so that my family can avoid exposure to cigarette smoke. We only go to places that have strict non-smoking policies (which are few), as a result we have very limited options and just stay home for meals. I'm sure we're not the only ones staying home. How much does it cost the Japanese economy when non-smokers (which is the majority of people) eat at home?

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One more note FDS. Smoking is not a private affair. There are social, health and economic consequences that effect all of us. Public places should be 100% smoke free. If people want to kill themselves, they can do it at home, if they own the place.

Further, all smokers should pay more for health insurance.

i don't disagree with you. if the government wants to ban smoking on roads and government buildings then it is entitled to. but a business is not a "public place" so it should be up to the business owner to decide which side his bread is buttered on make a decision either smoking or non-smoking. then you can choose if want to go in there or not.

i don't disagree that smokers should pay more health insurance but they are already paying more tax, most of the price of cigarettes is tax. should that money go towards the health insurance? if not what the heck is being used for? if its being used for things that non-smokers benefit from, then you should complain.

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Secondhand smoke appears to trigger a complex inflammatory response in the lungs, a study in rats reveals.

The researchers exposed the animals to secondhand smoke five times per week for two or four months. The exposures occurred in two three-hour shifts twice a day, separated by a two-hour break.

"This is much like what a human would be exposed to at a bar or casino," Adelheid Kratzer, an investigator in the pulmonary and critical care division in the department of medicine at the University of Colorado-Denver, said in an American Physiological Society news release.

Two months of exposure to secondhand smoke was enough to cause significant changes in the rats' lungs, and those changes were even more notable after four months.

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before banning people with tattos, smokers should be banned -- it does more harm than tatto.

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Please TOKYO come into the real world concerning smoking in public. Its literally killing me and others like me who inhale the others 2nd hand smoke at sport outings nonetheless! What's with this? For example, in the Shiodome underground area, there is an announcement in English, "Smoking is not allowed in this area. Please refrain from smoking". Why only there? Why not this type of announcement Everywhere. Like they have for the escalators in the trains stations. Kochira wa Escalator desu. Bing Bong." Or for the revolving doors "Okosama no gochui kudasai". Seems like every busy location has some announcement. Just increase the Smoking ones! They're already made, implement, the sooner the better!

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As a smoker, I am quite happy for there to be rules on where you can can't smoke, but I don't like being victimised for no good reason either.

There is a huge amount of mis-information about the effects of passive smoking.

By now everyone accepts it gives you cancer, but the scientific studies show its just not the case. What happens is someone does a study & then when its PROVED that there is no significant effect, the study is swept under the table, for example the Californian smoking survey which spanned 40 years & 35,000 people - it proved no statistical increase in cancer due to passive smoking. Even the WHO study was statistically inconclusive, but somehow presented as proof in the media when there was none.

& here I read someones comment about a study on rats...

Two months of exposure to secondhand smoke was enough to cause significant changes in the rats' lungs, and those changes were even more notable after four months.

Just what are you trying to say? Giving chocolate to dogs will make them sick, so are you going to ban chocolate for humans too?

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By now everyone accepts it gives you cancer, but the scientific studies show its just not the case.

So anything that doesn't give cancer to the population for miles around is OK? Sorry, but cigarette smoke stinks. If people made a habit of setting off stink bombs in public places, they'd be banned, and rightly so. And while I'm ecstatic not to get cancer, second-hand smoke has sent me to the ENT department on more than one occasion with respiratory problems. Medical bills, money lost from time off work, not to mention the discomfort of not being able to breathe properly - it's not cancer, might not even be life-threatening, but it is a nuisance.

I agree with you about the animal experiments, though. Sadistic and meaningless waste of time, money, lives.

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'but I don't like being victimised for no good reason either.'--Umm how exactly is making laws to protect people from the harmful effects of smoking victimizing you?

Good on Kanagawa! Hope other prefectures will follow soon. Yeah, smokers will freak out for a while but then it will be back to business as usual.

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The government should but off on private restaurants and bars unlike what they have done in Europe. Due to the anti smoking laws there, many bars and pubs have gone bankrupt. I am all in favor of letting the owner of that establishment choose how he/she wants to run his or her establishment.

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They should do as they do at a coffee shop in Shinbashi. Smokers ONLY. Right at the corner near the train station. At first I thought it funny, but now I think its the only way. That or those glass enclosed corners. As for Riquez's comments, any smokey air, first or second hand repeated ad infinitum (smokers usually hang on with other smokers), starts to irritate the people who like air just as it is, as good as it can be in these times. We're quite literally fighting for our healthy, robust as can be lives, thank you. And smoke just zaps the life out of our lungs, like kryptonite. For those who are addicted to it (and nobody who smokes is NOT addicted, they just don't admit it)...you can tell a smoker by the way they hold their smoking fingers, sometimes wiping their lips like they're smoking position etc. Anyways, tkoind2 and smithinjapan can say it much better than me, so I'll stop here. Come ON TOKYO! Guess we need someone other than Blinkey to get this issue solved.

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american_bengoshi at 10:40 AM JST - 16th September How much does it cost the Japanese economy when non-smokers (which is the majority of people) eat at home?

Umm... no. The majority of Japanese people do smoke. You may think otherwise because generally women only smoke in the presence of other women, but if you happen to walk past a ladies night out you'll be wreathed in smoke just as quickly as at a salaryman's table.

Lots of people just claim they don't smoke because when some random stranger walks up to you in the street with a survey sheet it's easier to lie and give the socially acceptable answer, plus it avoids all those, "How many, what brand, etc..." followup questions.

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Let's get a real survey on this. What percentage of J men and J women smoke? I know one thing. They sure sell ALOT at convenient stores and supermarkets.

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smoking should be mandatory. Period.

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As an ex-smoker with out a self-righteous chip on his shoulder...businesses should be free to choose smoking or non-smoking. Last time I checked people had a choice which businesses to go to. And, there is no hard evidence anywhere that PROVES second hand smoke causes cancer or any other health risk..Yes there are studies with conclusions but no facts. What is next.. Second hand farts??

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I love living in Kanagawa now. I actually go out to restaurants.

Smokers have a right to smoke but we non-smokers have the right to NOT be submitted to their second hand smoke.

Quite simply really. Feel free to harm yourself but not to others. Also I like to add that Yokohama is so much cleaner now - almost no cigarette butts on the streets - amazing compared to Osaka.

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Smokers always seem to trot out the argument "you're not going to get cancer from a bit of secondhand smoke". I'm not concerned about getting cancer from secondhand smoke. I object to it because it stinks, it hurts my throat, and if I'm around it long enough, I start to get a headache. The more smoking bans the better, in my opinion.

As for the assertion that "most Japanese people smoke": wrong. The most recent statistics I have seen put it at something like 45% of men and 25% of women. That is not "most people" by anyone's definition.

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good for kanagawa. smoking sucks.

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no hard evidence anywhere that PROVES second hand smoke causes cancer or any other health risk..Yes there are studies with conclusions but no facts. What is next.. Second hand farts???? Flipdnip no "hard evidence" ANYWHERE? In 2010? You can't bulls--t us anymore. Non-smokers know from reports, first hand facts, 2nd hand smoke, that smoking is a slow and painful, addictive death wish. Get real!

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The dysfunctional habit of smoking can only be tackled head-on.

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Smokers suck. Move out of Kanagawa if you can't not do without your drugs.

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Give Japan another 10 years and they may actually catch up to the U.S. on restricting smoking in public places.

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I am a none smoker from the day of my birth though my parents were very heavy smokers & finally that cost them their lives.

I am on some boards with talk about riding motorcycles to you name it, though I would say 75% or more have quit some time ago & those left are trying to do the same.

After all NO SMOKING has been compulsory in the Province of B.C., Canada I am most thankful of, for I am very allergic to second-hand-tobaco smoke.

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Kanagawa did something right for once. Smokers are JOKERS!

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isthistheend: thanks for your feedback and keeping it real by not jumping on the "2nd hand smoke causes cancer" bandwagon..show proof, not conclusions. Most of those studies arrive at the "PC" conclusion to get more funding..real baby real!

apsara: that i agree with..

Lets round up all the smokers in a bay, and shoot them and sell their bodies to science!!

too much?

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Smokers don't realize they reek because their olifactory organs have been so inundated with cigarette stench that the organ stops reporting that particular smell to the brain. Kissing a smoker (be it cigarette, cigar, or whatever) really IS like kissing an ashtray and the only time you'll find a partner who is able to complete the task without gagging is if they are a smoker also. Both of my parents were heavy smokers and all three of their kids had various respiratory ailments growing up. Smokers would call that "coincidence" - I would call it "the smoking gun". (Sorry. Bad pun.)

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Umm... no. The majority of Japanese people do smoke.

That is a downright stupid comment to say the least. Very accurate studies have shown that the majority of Japanese people DO NOT smoke. Albeit a large % of people do.

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Sooo... what's the percentage? If you're denying that the majority of Japanese smoke, then that means less than 50%. But you're also saying a "large % of people do", which implies more than 50%. Are we to make something of the difference between "Japanese" (limiting the group to Japanese nationals - including the children) and "people" (consisting of ANY nationality - including children)?

I guess a more meaningful question would be, "What percentage of Japanese adults smoke?"

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Hmm. I found this, but I don't know how accurate it is:

•In Japan, 24.9 percent of adults smoke, a record low. The number of Japanese smokers has continued to fall since 1996. Young 20-something smokers clocked in at 14.3 percent, while 32.7 percent of those age 60 and up smoked, according to the annual survey by Japan Tobacco Inc, Japan's largest tobacco maker.

Japanese men's smoking rate was 60 percent in 1990 and currently 38.9 percent.

Japanese women's smoking rate now 11.9 percent down from 15 percent.

This was taken from the following web page: http://www.inforesearchlab.com/internationalsmokingfacts.chtml

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Is there any way we can report establishments not complying?

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Is there any way we can report establishments not complying?

First you have to smoke them out. Then I would probably contact the Kanagawa Prefectural Hall.

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Whee!

Now that Japan needs more income in terms of taxes, cigarette bans would surely decrease the sales of the tax-bloated prices of cigarettes.

Not that I'm complaining. I only smoke in smoking areas, which are very stuffy, usually has walls of brownish tinge and crowded. Or I just hold the urge till I get home.

Thing is, it's very annoying to see some folks who are defiantly smoking in non-smoking areas. I try my best to control my smoking. Why can't others?

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Kanagawa Prefecture is not a good place to be if you are fond of tobacco. You can’t smoke on the street, or in a taxi or in a public building. And now they’re going after the restaurants

What, they banned it outdoors before they banned it in restaurants? That sounds backwards.

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@Nessie

April 1, 2010, Japan’s first regulation requiring separation of smokers from non-smokers at indoor facilities, went into force.

And non-smoking in several areas like train platforms and several major train stations, has been put into effect before that. Just this time, they are enforcing strict compliance.

I even remember in Ameyoko, an ashtray was put in the middle of the shopping area, right where shoppers walk, and has a white square drawn around it to show the smoking area's size.

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