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Make way for the Butt Police

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By Mike DeJong

I was shopping in Shinjuku Saturday when I saw them: the Butt Police. No, I’m not talking about a new adult attraction in Kabukicho. I’m referring to the small brigade of officers sworn to rid the streets of smokers and their castaway cigarettes.

Cool and efficient, the Butt Police were handsomely dressed in white uniforms and blue caps. Marching single-file through the neighborhood, the BP’s cast wary eyes for unsuspecting offenders. Anyone caught lighting up or tossing a cigarette onto the sidewalk would be issued an immediate citation.

I enjoyed watching the BP’s in action—until I stopped to think about what they were doing. Then they made me sad. What’s the problem with a quick cig on the sidewalk? I’m not a smoker, but people smoking on the street have never bothered me. Nor has anyone ever blown smoke in my face. After all, it’s outdoors and the smoke usually blows away in the wind. How much of a threat is that?

It’s not a threat and that’s why I think the Butt Police are sad. They are a typical Japanese band-aid solution: fight the symptom rather than the disease.

Tokyo is one of the few major cities in the industrialized world where smoking is permitted in bars and restaurants. Most cities in Canada and the U.S. banned smoking from restaurants and pubs some time ago. But here, one can visit almost any eatery or watering hole and see smokers puffing away.

Sure, many Tokyo establishments have separate sections for smokers and nonsmokers. But normally, nonsmokers get a few cursory seats while smokers enjoy entire sections to themselves. A good example is the Doutor coffee shop near Ebisu station. It has only five stools for nonsmokers, crammed near the cash register. Upstairs, smokers have an entire room to relax and light up. The McDonald’s near Fussa station has partitions separating smoking and nonsmoking sections. But huge gaps make the partitions mostly useless.

The McDonald’s in Kotesashi, Saitama, is perhaps the most annoying. The smoking section is in an open area on the ground floor, and the nonsmoking section is directly above. But with no barrier between the two floors, smoke freely rises to the top. Don’t these people understand basic science?

Segregating smokers from nonsmokers doesn’t work anyway. Studies show that walls and partitions do little to limit the exposure to secondhand smoke. In fact, researchers in Australia found that even with partitions between sections, about 50 percent of smoke still reaches nonsmoking areas.

And of course, the dangers of secondhand smoke are well-documented. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says secondhand smoke contains at least 60 chemicals known or thought to cause cancer. In all, tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals.

So if restaurants were serious about ensuring the safety of their patrons or staff, they would get rid of smoking completely. The Butt Police could move indoors and hand out citations to restaurant owners instead of smokers.

But perhaps public safety isn’t the issue. Maybe the real goal of the Butt Police is to protect the sidewalk rather than the people who use it. Cracking down on litter is easier than taking the anti-smoking battle indoors, where one would face Big Tobacco and their lobbyists and apologists in the Japanese government.

To be fair, tobacco taxes are being raised this fall, for the second consecutive year. But cigarettes here still cost much less than they do in the U.S. and many other countries. And the Japanese government is still a major shareholder in Japan Tobacco, one of the largest cigarette companies in the world. So don’t expect a serious crackdown anytime soon.

The bottom line is that appearances matter in Japan, and band-aid solutions are plentiful. So smokers, pick up those butts off the street and don’t light up outside—the Butt Police are watching. Instead, take your nicotine habits indoors, into any restaurant, bar or pub and smoke to you heart’s content.

Mike DeJong is a Canadian journalist and media consultant.

This commentary originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (www.metropolis.co.jp).

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

78 Comments
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How is this a band-aid solution?

-Don't smoke on the street where not permitted by law -You can smoke in private businesses

How reasonable! A private business can allow smokers should it so choose (and plenty do ban smoking completely). Non-smokers can choose to avoid these private businesses should they not like the smoke. Non-smokers cannot easily avoid smokers on the public streets.

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I wonder how many people clicked on this and were disappointed with what the article was actually about.

Interesting points. While I normally have no problem with smokers, the restaurant thing I can completely sympathize with. The separation does NOTHING. I was in a non-smoking section at a fairly nice family restaurant and I still came out reeking of cigarettes half an hour later and with a sore throat to boot. The smoke just wafted around the flimsy half-wall they had standing between sections. It's definitely the businesses, well... business, if they want to allow or ban smoking, and yes, you can always take your money elsewhere if you don't like it. But if you're going to have an establishment that caters to both parties, why not make it more practical or actually effective?

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people smoking on the street have never bothered me. Nor has anyone ever blown smoke in my face

So the writer has never been behind and "downwind" of someone smoking on the street I presume; if they had, they would know all about the wonderful sensation of getting someone elses very recent lung-full of smoke blowing back right into their face. Yep, a nice LUNG-FULL, cos that`s where it was a couple of seconds before; inside their lungs. Nice thought.

Regardless of the above, the littering alone is enough to warrant this policing. Smokers seem to think that because the butt is small, it doesn`t matter if they just casually discard it wherever they are.

As for smoking indoors, smokers should really show some consideration for others by going outside to smoke (though not whilst walking down the street), or a designated smoking room. And why Owhy do smoking friends have to smoke "tag-team"? For gods sake, smoke simultaneously and give us non-smokers 5-10 mins respite before you lose all self-control again!

And speaking of smoking in restaurants, yeah, so its their right to smoke, but not next to me (especially when my meal has arrived!), and it certainly doesnt entitle them to affect my health and stink out my clothing, etc. Why do smokers think its ok to smoke next to me when Im trying to eat my meal, but put out their cigarettes when they want to enjoy their meal?

It`s my right, and a basic human functional need, to urinate/defecate. One day I might just do my business all over the smokers next to me; see how they like it.

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You hit the nail right on the head, mister.

But perhaps public safety isn’t the issue. Maybe the real goal of the Butt Police is to protect the sidewalk rather than the people who use it.

By the way if you don't like the smoke at McDonalds or Doutour, go to Starbucks. Money talks louder than complaints.

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I get the mentally in Japan. Think about Tokyo. the packed streets. I would be annoyed if someone was smoking. They could burn me or burn a hole through my suit or clothes. On a none packed street. I couldn't care less.

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In my opinion standing on the street and smoking is OK, but walking whilst doing it is not good at all.

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A good example is the Doutor coffee shop near Ebisu station. It has only five stools for nonsmokers, crammed near the cash register. Upstairs, smokers have an entire room to relax and light up. The McDonald’s near Fussa station has partitions separating smoking and nonsmoking sections.

How many coffee shops/restaurants are there in Tokyo? And the author decides to highlight two that are this far apart?

Instead, take your nicotine habits indoors, into any restaurant, bar or pub and smoke to you heart’s content.

This is clearly not true. Ever heard of Starbucks? Not to mention that numerous Izakayas now have non-smoking sections.

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smokin' clean style. what a crock

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One of the rationales for the sidewalk ban is that people walking with lit cigarettes tend to hold them between puffs at children's eye-level and some kid got one in the eye a while back. It sounds ridiculous but in a crowded sidewalk I could see how that would be a legitimate concern. Littering is another big one, sidewalks get covered in a thin patina of cigarette butts rather quickly here.

I tend to agree about the sorry state of restaurant non-smoking sections. It should be said though that partitioning can be effective if it is properly done. The Mos Burger in my neighborhood, for example, has complete physical separation between the two sections. The partition there reaches from floor to ceiling and has an automatic door to enter the smoking section, which is physically located some distance away from the nearest non-smoking seats.

I compare that with Gusto, which is the worst. They put a tiny partition that only reaches halfway to the ceiling, no doors or anything and no physical space between the two sections.

Personally I'd like to see a blanket ban on smoking in restaurants but, failing that, I'm pretty satisfied with Mos Burger-type partitioning of space.

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I never noticed or minded smokers much back home as they never encroached on my daily life. Now, after being in Japan for 8 years, I want them all to die.

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i hate the older salary men who still think it is ok to light up after getting off the train and blow smoke everywhere, i get soooo annoyed,,,,so as they saunter up the steps in the middle of the crowd of people trying to exit,,,, i give them my most evil look, and say directly to their face 'kuuuusaaaaaaiiii' , it often gets good shock appeal !

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It is horrible to walk behind some idiot who is PUFFING AWAY in front of you, getting all that horrible smoke in your eyes, that stench in your hair! So I wish ALL OF TOKYO had more police to warn all of these nicotine addicts to NOT SMOKE on the streets or near entrances and exits to any building, where say you go to an ONSEN, you dip to WASH yourself in these hotsprings, then on the way out you have to pass by a bunch of nasty, dirty smokers all near the exit so you end up stinking of bloody smoke!!!

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I don't care a wit for this story, but what a headline. Love it.

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Leave smokers alone. They have already been marginalised for a habit that is legal and raises tons of revenue for the govt. You smoking nazis should realise that your whiny kids/bad driving/poor pavement etiquette are just as annoying.

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Non smokers need to touhen up!! SMOKING IS LEGAL deal with it !!

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I should have typed TouGhen

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Smokers eiher followe the rules/laws or be prepared to meet Mr. Fist if you smoke in a non-smoking area.

Simple as that Rules and Laws change if you decide to disobey them ... consequences ensue.

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They are fighting the symptoms and the disease by also putting up the price, finally. Getting smoke in my face is worse than someone farting in my face - it's carcinogenic and I don't want to be anywhere near it. Toughen up? Don't be ridiculous.

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Smoking is still allowed in private hospitals. Some doctors still tell people it is healthy as it reduces stress levels. The cops in shinjuku are old people with nothing better to do that to bitch at people. It seems that Japanese after a certain age should just kill themselves. They are a burden and often noisy and not nice to be around. Japan has the butt police, the garbage police, the parking police, and late for work police, everything is controlled by police. but the police tend to not do too much. they have outsourced most of their work to others. Japanese live in their own world.

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I don't understand why restaurants need smoking sections. People can't wait the 20 minutes to finish their meal and then go for a smoke outside? They have to be smoking and eating at the same time? It disgusts me.

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noborito, u forgot the bike police

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All the smokers out there,you will all die a slow and painful death.It's never quick.First you have a stroke and can't move half of your body,then you get a walking stick and fall down and break your hip.After your hip replacement surgery is finished you must learn how to talk again.At this point the doctor informs you you have lung cancer and must cut out a lung to try and give you another 2 or three years of life.Then you finally wake up after it's to late and start preaching to all smokers and non smokers about the health risks of smoking. Don't smoke it will destroy the quality of your life.

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"Leave smokers alone."

Gladly. Shall we fence off part of Nevada and deport all world smokers to a giant Tully's smoking fishbowl where they can poison themselves all they like.

Smokers should leave the rest of us along. Go to fishtanks or go home to smoke, I am tired of breathing in your filth!

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When walking with my small children on the crowded shinjuku street, I am looking at the hands of people. Looking out for lit cigerettes. If one of those ever touches my kid's face, that criminal's life will be ruined and I will ensure it with all my legal and political power.

Bravo Butt Police Bravo !!

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its fine if you want to smoke,,just dont impose your habit on others,,,,its got nothing to do with toughening up its called 'manners'

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I'm glad that smokers are a dying breed in Japan. I've been burnt twice on the arm by inconsiderate smokers waving their filthy cancer sticks about. On another occasion my brand new cashmere coat had a hole burnt into it when a street smoker dropped his ash on me. If I had small kids I definitely wouldn't feel safe about letting them wander about smoky city streets.

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So first, 50% of the post is deleted. Then 100% and the proceeding comment?

Trying to hide your original ineptitude instead of just apologising: even bigger FAIL.

Japan Today is fast becoming the Japanese government of international politics.

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Some doctors still tell people it is healthy as it reduces stress levels.

That statement is really, really hard to believe...

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You can all suck my butt

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After reading the title, I was worried for a second that I would have to be careful of how my bum looked in a pair of jeans!!

I don't see a problem with smoking a cigarette in an out-of-the-way area and then disposing of the butt in your portable ashtray, but smoking while you are walking or in a crowded place is rude and dangerous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

James Dean was cool on the silver screen, smoking a drag, but, here in Tokyo, crowded or before, my worst experience was on KOREAN AIRLINES, from Narita to LAX and I was supposedly in the NON SMOKING section, but right behind me was a WALL OF THICK, WHITE SMOKE!!! No real wall, no partition, and all these imbeciles smoking from Japan to the USA!! That was the last time I used that crummy, smelly airline. I really, really hate smoke and selfish, wagamama smokers are never ever allowed to my home.

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One of the rationales for the sidewalk ban is that people walking with lit cigarettes tend to hold them between puffs at children's eye-level and some kid got one in the eye a while back. It sounds ridiculous but in a crowded sidewalk I could see how that would be a legitimate concern

I dont think this sounds ridiculous at all. There are some very unpleasant, inconsiderate people who puff away without giving a stuff about anybody around them. Its because of these irresponsible people that Butt Police are required.

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This sounds like the manners police on the trains. A bunch of old elderly people wearing green jackets roaming the trains trying to enforce Japanese etiquette. Wonder if they are still doing that. Not sure what's with all the hate filled "smokers should die comments". Never had a problem with smokers since they usually go off and hide to light their smokes. Of course being in a smoke filled izakaya irritates my eyes a bit, but that's nothing a few beers can't take care of.

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Of course being in a smoke filled izakaya irritates my eyes a bit, but that's nothing a few beers can't take care of.

Yes, it is a well known fact that a few beers relieves both irritated eyes and lung cancer.

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There's a "Smoking Room" near Yokohama Sta. but most smokers stand outside and drop their used butts on the ground in plain sight of the police. What a joke! I hate smoking.

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Good article and I completely agree. I am a smoker and it has never made sense to me that you ban smoking on the sidewalk but allow it in bars and restraunts. Japan in many cases is opposite land.

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The smoke said, "I never smoke and eat at the same time because it's gross." Butt, he smokes when others eat, thoroughly grossing them out.

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ie. The smoker said . . .

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One English phrase that used to be uno No. 1 was "Mind if I smoke?" Can you imagine someone saying that nowadays? They know how bad it is, and how the times have caught up on the "coolness" of it. I think lighting up might qualify as the worst social offense outside of relieving oneself and the other bodily functions which should be done in private. And yes, its ridiculous to have smokers in restaurants in Japan. Not many are big enough to clearly separate one from the other.

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I'd like to volunteer for the "Butt" police but the Smokable ones weren't what i had in mnd!

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love those smoking chambers in Asian airports, most civilised. May be they should build smoking chambers along Ginza, hell, after dropping a few thousands on those over-priced shoes for the girlfriends, YOU NEED TO SMOKE !!

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The number of smokers in Japan is steadily declining. It's at 24% now. I'm seeing a lot less people smoking on the streets where they're not supposed to. That said, I think they need to start giving out more fines to get the message across.

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"a lot less people smoking on the streets"

People smoking on the streets can be a nuisance, but people smoking in restaurants is intolerable.

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Smoking on the streets...I'm not a fan. I often need to leave home around 6 am, and it's disappointing when instead of the fresh morning air that is about the only consolation in an early morning start, all I can smell is the cigarette the guy 10 meters in front of me is smoking. I bet he (it's never been "she" so far!) gets a lot less of his cigarette than the hapless downwind walker.

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If the "butt police" are not real policemen, they are probably technically not allowed to demand to see your ID to issue you a citation. Nor can they physically obstruct you from walking away. Toss the butt, point to a plane, and walk away.

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Why is it a problem to smoke on the street? Because, Mr DeJong, when you walk your children down the crowded Tokyo street the butts are at EYE level. When the wind blows, it blows ASH in my baby`s pram (it really happened to my 3 month iold daughter), and because unless you are not actually breathing at all, if you are anywhere near a smoker you CAN smell it a mile off.

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I'm a non-smoker and I can't stand walking to the station in the morning behind a smoker. Just because it's outside doesn't mean it doesn't bother people.

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"It’s not a threat and that’s why I think the Butt Police are sad. "

Butt police?

Ha. You know it is all fun and games until a three year old gets a lit cigarette thrust into his eye by a slob who just can't control himself.

Darn. Kirakira beat me to it.

You know how curmudgeonly I am? I am a butt vigilante. I hate smelling the smoke of the guy driving in front of me in traffic. He has his windows open, and I can't do anything but turn on my AC.

And if anyone owns any property at all in this country, let us know how much you like cleaning cigarette butts off your lawn or entryway. People who live near bus stops should be licensed to own firearms, imo. Then we would need no butt police.

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kirakira25 at 09:02 PM JST - 16th October if you are anywhere near a smoker you CAN smell it a mile off.

Klein2 at 12:28 AM JST - 17th October I hate smelling the smoke of the guy driving in front of me in traffic. He has his windows open, and I can't do anything but turn on my AC.

My goodness, I had NO IDEA that bloodhounds could type. Based on standard outdoor smoke distribution at a range of 7 meters the concentration of smoke is less than 10 ppah. Klein2 and kirakira25 you're claiming to be able to smell smoke from cars in front of you and a mile away respectively, putting the concentration well below 1 ppah, which would mean that either you're bloodhounds or liars. Far be it from me to accuse someone of lying, so that only leaves me to congratulate you on your amazing English language skills and typing abilities (I assume with your noses?).

More anti-smoking hysteria. Yes, there are inconsiderate smokers out there, just like there are inconsiderate anti-smokers. What people are missing here is that these "Butt Police" are nothing more than vigilantes with no official mandate. By issuing citations and demanding identification they are actually in violation of Japanese law. Even if smoking was a criminal offense and they were entitled to make a citizens arrest they would not be allowed to demand identification or issue any official or quasi-official documentation without a police officer present.

In short, this has simply gone too far. The anti-smoking brigade is actually breaking the law and harassing people. If one of these people ever attempts to harass me I will be calling for the police and I will press charges. Those who support these individuals are supporting criminals and will have no room to complain when they start the same harassment against people with babies because they're loud, or against drivers because they're potentially dangerous.

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Smoking should be banned totally. In 2010 we allow drug addicts to have their fix in public. Insane.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy, I don't think the concentration of the smoke is what people are bothered by. Besides, no one can truly know what the concentration is at any given period when you are outside. More likely, it's just plainly the smell that people dislike. When I am on my bicycle, I can smell smoke from a cigarette (usually held inconsiderately outside of the car window)up to 100 meters or so in front of me. it's not a mile but it still forces you to breathe some of it in for a good period of time. Also, I have had ashes and smoke blown into my face and have been almost hit by lighted butts. You have the right to smoke but I think non-smokers also have the right to an environment that is as smoke free as possible. If there was a method to contain all the smoke from the cigarette, I say smoke yourself to death.

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Mocheake at 04:27 AM JST - 17th October Frungy, I don't think the concentration of the smoke is what people are bothered by. Besides, no one can truly know what the concentration is at any given period when you are outside.

Honestly there is. Smoke disperses in a relatively predictable fashion, it's a little something called "physics". There are variables like wind, the initial volume of smoke (if you have multiple smokers in an area), but otherwise it is quite predictable. The number of smoke particles in the air is measured in either micrograms/m3 - ppah, or parts per million. The human olifactory system has an average range of sensitivity and 2.4 ppm is the absolute limit for humans to detect a scent. For a bloodhount it's round 0.5 ppm (what we could consider "odourless").

Of course the number of people who claim to be able to smell smoke from across a park is a clear indication that they're not actually smelling the smoke, but rather that it's a psycho-somatic reaction to seeing someone smoking.

I recently laughed because I was "smoking" one of my new electronic cigarettes, which are tobacco and nicotine free and emit no smoke (it's water vapour), and someone came over to complain that they could smell it. I showed them the "cigarette" and they went off embarassed... of course with no apology for their initial rudeness.

I think the anti-smoking issue has got out of hand. People are reading it as carte blanche to be rude to anyone holding anything that looks like a cigarette. Do some reading on smoke dispersion and you'll realise that a lot of the claims about the distance that people can smell smoke at clearly show what nonsense claims these are, flimsy excuses to paint themselves as the victims, whereas in fact they're the aggressors.

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I think the anti-smoking issue has got out of hand. People are reading it as carte blanche to be rude to anyone holding anything that looks like a cigarette. Do some reading on smoke dispersion and you'll realise that a lot of the claims about the distance that people can smell smoke at clearly show what nonsense claims these are, flimsy excuses to paint themselves as the victims, whereas in fact they're the aggressors.

Right on!

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it's a psycho-somatic reaction to seeing someone smoking.

Funny that in many cases you don't see the smoker until you after you've smelled him.

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They keep raising the tax on cigarettes here and everytime my smoker siblings complain, I tell them it's just a "litter tax". I'd wager that out of every 20 cigarettes smoked outside the smoker's home or office, 19 of them end up on the ground after the smoker is done with them.

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cleo at 04:32 PM JST - 18th October Funny that in many cases you don't see the smoker until you after you've smelled him.

Right now, close your eyes, turn around and pick up a piece of paper and write down everything you could "see". You'd be exceptional if you could write down more than 20% of what was in the area, however if someone asks you directly, "Was there a pen there?", you would be able to remember. The key is that you actually perceive a lot more than you "see", but you're not conscious of it because most of it is unimportant, so unless you're looking for a pen then the pen on your desk isn't highlighted.

People with an issue about smoking don't "see" the smoker, but the brain does register that there's a smoker and it converts that into an associated smell, the smell of smoke, which in turn makes you look to see where the smoker is. This theory has been tested, for example when people saw a loaf of bread they imagined that they could smell bread... even when it subsequently turned out that the load of bread was a plastic replica.

I'm not saying that this is true in every case, smoke does have a smell and if someone is smoking indoors or closer than 5 meters then there's a good chance you could smell it, however it disperses rapidly in an open area, and many people here claim to be able to "smell" smoke at hugely unrealistic distances.

This is just a reality check, which is something sorely lacking in relation to the entire anti-smoking debate.

Fadamor at 03:49 AM JST - 19th October They keep raising the tax on cigarettes here and everytime my smoker siblings complain, I tell them it's just a "litter tax". I'd wager that out of every 20 cigarettes smoked outside the smoker's home or office, 19 of them end up on the ground after the smoker is done with them.

Maybe in other countries, but not in Japan. Ask any smoker to show you their portable ashtray (although some smokers will dump their butts in their cigarette box, which I consider pretty disgusting since old cigarette butts smell very strongly). I actually still have my disposable ashtray clipped onto my keyring, despite having switched to electronic cigarettes (well, I do occassionally smoke a real cigarette, but I've cut down a lot, now it's perhaps 2 or 3 real ones a day, about a pack a week). Dropping cigarette butts is revolting, just as revolting as people discarding any other trash, but your contention Fadamor that 95% of smokers are likely to litter is just ridiculous. Do an impromtu survey of the smokers you meet, and you'll see that the opposite is true, that in fact 90%+ of them carry and use a disposable ashtray.

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The key is that you actually perceive a lot more than you "see", but you're not conscious of it because most of it is unimportant, so unless you're looking for a pen then the pen on your desk isn't highlighted.

All very well and good, but pens don't give off stinky smoke.

This theory has been tested, for example when people saw a loaf of bread they imagined that they could smell bread... even when it subsequently turned out that the load of bread was a plastic replica.

That don't change the fact that when you walk into a house where bread is baking, you smell it long before you get to the kitchen and get to check out the inside of the oven. Just because people may sometimes think they smell smoke when they see someone puffing, doesn't mean that the stink can't be detected long before the smoker is apparent to the eyesight. A smoker stinks even if you've got your eyes closed.

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it's a psycho-somatic reaction to seeing someone smoking.

Only a smoker could come up with such a ridiculous statement as that. So presumably when I'm in my house with the windows open and I can smell someone smoking because the breeze has brought that smoke into my house it's psychosematic?

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Heda_Madness at 09:33 AM JST - 19th October Only a smoker could come up with such a ridiculous statement as that.

Scientific fact 1: Smoke disperses in a predictable fashion (just like any gas).

Scientific fact 2: The human olfactory system can only sense gases at a particular concentration.

Combine these two facts and you realise that smelling a single cigarette 100 meters away is a scientific impossibility. The volume of smoke generated by a single cigarette, or even two cigarettes, especially in a breeze would be dispersed by the smoke rather than concentrated.

As for the statement, "only a smoker", that just illustrates what I've been pointing out, that the anti-smoking brigade are acting illogically and borderline fanatically, ignoring all reason and science that contradicts their viewpoint.

Go and do some reading on the dispersion of gases over an area, and you'll realise that your position is ridiculous.

As for the "bread baking" example, it is indoors, which is not what I was talking about, we were talking about outdoors. To smell bread baking outdoors at any distance you would need to be near a bakery where HUGE quantities of bread are being produced.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So because I'm a non-smoker that makes me part of the anti-smoking brigade and not capable of acting logically? So as you are clearly the brains of this argument perhaps you can explain to all of us how it is possible that I (and many others on this thread) are able to smell someone smoking a cigarette without seeing it? Are we all wrong? Or is it that your idea of science is what you want it to be (for instance the bread example has nothing to do with someone smoking outside of my house)? I think if anyone needs to read up on the dispersal of cigarette smoke then it's you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

>As for the "bread baking" example, it is indoors, which is not what I was talking about

No, we were talking about the ludicrous idea of not being able to smell something until you've seen it first. Simply isn't so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Presumably Frungy thinks that smoke detectors in a house work based on movement...

Moderator: Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think we need to introduce a movement of mobile vaporizors which eliminate the need to get rid of smoking all together. They don't smell, the harmful effects are negligable (except on the wallet, little change there), and they still get a perfectly good nicotine fix. They even look like cigarettes.

The butt police wouldn't even be required since there are no butts with vaporizors.

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Icewind007 at 03:21 AM JST - 20th October I think we need to introduce a movement of mobile vaporizors which eliminate the need to get rid of smoking all together. They don't smell, the harmful effects are negligable (except on the wallet, little change there), and they still get a perfectly good nicotine fix. They even look like cigarettes.

I use an e-cigarette most of the time, which is pretty much what you're talking about Icewind007, and it just produces a little water vapour to simulate smoke. I still get grief from the anti-smoking brigade. Oh, but mine contain no nicotine or tobacco, they're just placebos. I find that I tend to smoke when I'm bored or driving and it gives me the feeling of smoking without going through 3 cigarettes in a 1 hour trip. I also find it's much safer, because there's no fire, so I'm not distracted trying to light it and I'm not worried if I drop it.

cleo at 11:56 PM JST - 19th October No, we were talking about the ludicrous idea of not being able to smell something until you've seen it first. Simply isn't so.

No cleo, if you read my post you'd realise that what I was talking about was that people claim to be able to smell smoke from insane distances, the figures of 100 meters and 1 mile have been mentioned. What I was pointing out was that smoke disperses in an open area and that it's impossible to smell a single cigarette from even 10 meters away in an open area.

Heda_Madness at 11:40 PM JST - 19th October So because I'm a non-smoker that makes me part of the anti-smoking brigade and not capable of acting logically? So as you are clearly the brains of this argument perhaps you can explain to all of us how it is possible that I (and many others on this thread) are able to smell someone smoking a cigarette without seeing it? Are we all wrong?

You're deliberately and willfully misrepresenting my position. In that sense you are wrong. If you can't understand the difference between the way air moves indoors and the way it moves outdoors then clearly I am the brains in this thread.

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we were talking about the ludicrous idea of not being able to smell something until you've seen it first. Simply isn't so.

No cleo, if you read my post you'd realise that what I was talking about was that people claim to be able to smell smoke from insane distances

You claimed people only 'smell' the smoke after they've seen the cigarette - they're not actually smelling the smoke, but rather that it's a psycho-somatic reaction to seeing someone smoking. Your words. I'm telling you that it often happens that first you smell the smoke, look around and see someone puffing away at a distance. I'm not going to get into arguments about whether it's a mile away or 100 yards away or a way off down the street. Simply that the stink is noticeable to a blind person at distances far greater than the smoker with his greatly reduced sense of smell (because of the numbing effect of the drug) probably imagines.

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You claimed people only 'smell' the smoke after they've seen the cigarette - they're not actually smelling the smoke, but rather that it's a psycho-somatic reaction to seeing someone smoking.

Pathetic cleo. Are you going down a personal checklist of every logical fallacy you can get your hands on?

I wrote in the very next paragraph:

I'm not saying that this is true in every case, smoke does have a smell and if someone is smoking indoors or closer than 5 meters then there's a good chance you could smell it, however it disperses rapidly in an open area, and many people here claim to be able to "smell" smoke at hugely unrealistic distances.

My issue was with the hugely unrealistic distances people were stating. They'd have to be bloodhounds to smell smoke at those distances. It's typical of the anti-smoking hysteria that's going on.

I'm not going to waste any more of my time on you, because you're obviously not discussing this in good faith, a point that is common to many anti-smokers, who are so convinced that they're right that they see it as permission to be rude. It isn't, and cleo you're a poster-child for the anti-smoking faction in your crude attempts to misrepresent a very simple point I was making.

Thank you for proving my point.

Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

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They'd have to be bloodhounds to smell smoke at those distances.

I'm a bloodhound! I'm a bloodhound!

Isn't it possible (and also scientifically proven) that smoker's sense of smell is impaired?

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Good. I hate the smell of smoke and how many smokers do you know keep the butts until they find a place to throw them away?

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In my Shi we got a LOT of non-smoking areas(like bus-stops, etc) now and glad to say that most people adhere to them. Granted you get the occasional idiot who stands on top of a non-smoking sign puffing away.

We don't have fines(yet) for smoking outside designated areas(hit the closest Tokyo ward and they are way stricter and WILL fine you).

But there is a TOTAL ban on throwing stompies, butts etc across the whole Shi/Ward and it has made the ward a LOT cleaner.

Within the non-smoking areas we got a patrol that reminds people to smoke in the designated areas and will hand out "Bad Manner" points.

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You're deliberately and willfully misrepresenting my position. In that sense you are wrong

No I'm not. You stated a fact. A fact that is clearly and completely wrong.

In the same way that the author's final sentence is also clearly and completely wrong.

Instead, take your nicotine habits indoors, into any restaurant, bar or pub and smoke to you heart’s content.

If you're going to make statements that are facts then at least have the decency of presenting them correctly.

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The fanatics are at it again! All smokers should die, if you own property you should have a gun to get the poeple littering butts on the your grass...are you people serious?

In the end Japan will be like america, no smoking in public buildings and designated areas outside. I can understand being in a confined smokey space and how bad it is for a non-smoker...but outside its a minor inconvenience. No more annoying that your bratty little kid that wont shut up, groups of slow walking teenagers that take up the whole sidewalk etc. Based on your logic, oh they annoy me, they should all die!!!

Really...the smokers need to grow up? Please.

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Genji17,

noisy kids do not cause lung cancer. End of discussion.

When will smokers admit to themselves they are slaves to nicotine and cannot think properly as a result. They are only looking to the next fix. If others get sick around them, what do they care. Give me my fix.

Once that is understood all the whining and deluded evasion of facts makes sense. Its like talking to a herion addict, no different.

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zurcronium.

Wasnt arguing noisy kids cause lung cancer...go ahead and end that discussion.

And Im not whinning just making the following point. Sitting in a closed smokey room for a long period of time will affect your health badly. I am not arguing against this. In fact, as a smoker I like places where you cant smoke. You go outside and have get your fix and then you dont bother your non-smoking friends. Ban it from inside public buildings, go for it!

However, outdoors is another issue. Walking past a smoker in a park and getting a whiff of smoke, while maybe unpleasant to you, will not affect your health. Sure its unpleasant and annoying to you...as is your unruly kid to me (hence the above comparison.) The above posts have veiled threats of killing, punching and other acts of violence because somebody is smoking outside, usually where they are allowed. Thats my issue. In fact Im calling all of them out, next time you see a 70 year old japanese guy smoking on the street, go break his jaw. I dare you. Have fun in a Japanese prison.

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Those e-cigarettes are interesting--a placebo for cigarettes which are themselves placebos for thumb sucking. This whole problem could be ended if all the smokers would just go back to thumb sucking. End of problem!

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Moondog at 02:24 PM JST - 21st October Those e-cigarettes are interesting--a placebo for cigarettes which are themselves placebos for thumb sucking. This whole problem could be ended if all the smokers would just go back to thumb sucking. End of problem!

Tried that and it just ruins my nails, the cuticles get too soft. It is MUCH cheaper though!! ;)

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The anti-smoking NAZIs are conditioning the population to be hyper-sensitive about the smell and bogus dangers of "secondhand smoke" - but ignore automobile exhaust, powerplant emissions, industrial facilities bleeding chemical vapors, brake-lining dust and a hundred OTHER things that are as bad or worse for the average man on the street than cigarette smoke.

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glycol57, there's so much wrong with your post I don't know where to start... but I'll have a go.

Just because someone is against your belief (smoking in this case) doesn't make them a NAZI. I'm pretty sure that non-smokers don't call smokers 'smoking NAZI's' and so by saying that you immediately lose any kind of credibility. Let's just remember who the Nazi's were, what they did and what they stood for. And if you can honestly compare them to people who don't like cigarette smoke then you have issues.

the smell of blah blah blah blah. Now can you confirm that none of the non smokers on here have never complained about that? Probably not. I'm almost certain that Cleo (appologies if you haven't) has taken issue to it at some point and I'm also pretty much certain that I've never had a meal ruined by a Nissan GT on the next table revving all over my Steak Tartare etc etc etc

I think that most (given that the majority of people are non-smokers) are quite reserved about their thoughts on smoking yet on this thread it seems that the minority (the smokers) are the most militant.

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I'm also pretty much certain that I've never had a meal ruined by a Nissan GT on the next table revving all over my Steak Tartare

Wonderful use of imagery here, Heda Madness. Loved it. I would make it a candy red one, with large tires and a loud muffler.

Joking aside, thanks for the post, it was needed.

On that note, I think I would like to propose a new product line, the iZAN, certain to give you the impression that you have an edge in a debate or a discussion. The iZAN, not from APPLE...

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