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7-Eleven removing storefront ashtrays across Tokyo

29 Comments
By Kelsey Lark

As 2018 wraps up and we come one year closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, government policies and company initiatives to encourage better health are on the rise.

In one such move, the convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan, owned by retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co., announced that they will be removing smoking ashtrays from storefronts of their Tokyo locations, according to the Nihon Keizai Shinbun as reported on Dec 1.

Since a Tokyo Assembly meeting held last June, there has been increased pressure on the company to reduce secondhand smoking at their stores by removing ashtrays and banning smoking near entrances. Of its 2,700 stores in the city, 1,000 of them have ashtrays outside the front. If the campaign is successful, Seven-Eleven will carry out removal nationwide.

It’s no wonder this is a concern, as according to a recent government survey nearly 40 percent of nonsmokers experience secondhand smoke. While the overall rate of smokers in Japan has declined to less than 20 percent this year, passive smoking accounts for around 15,000 deaths of Japanese citizens annually.

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29 Comments
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Japan Times added the detail that 25% of 7-11's profits come from selling those little boxes of cancer sticks. Would like to counter that with the cost to the National Health Insurance budget of cancer treatments for smokers. Oh, and add in the wasted years of smokers "stepping outside" for a smoke all day long. Anyway, I applaud 7-11 and any steps towards supporting everyone else's right to clean air.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

If the campaign is successful

be nice to know what the criteria are...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

get your brooms ready to sweep a lot of butts then, do you think the kind of people who smoke outside convenience stores are the kind to follow social etiquette?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

get your brooms ready to sweep a lot of butts then, do you think the kind of people who smoke outside convenience stores are the kind to follow social etiquette?

If they are using the ashtrays, they are following social etiquette. The people smoking everywhere else, especially walking, are not the kind to follow social etiquette.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Great move. Here's hoping all stores throughout the country copy it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well, yes, it's not going to stop people smoking outside; it's just going to create more damn litter.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Wow! Great move on 7-Eleven! Cigarettes are just horrible, if they put the ashtray behind the building I’m ok with it, but having people smoke outside in front of the door as they’re inhaling and exhaling that poison garbage and blowing it around you, disgusting.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

How about they stop selling cigarettes!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

If they are using the ashtrays, they are following social etiquette.

And if there are no ashtrays, many of them will simply drop their butts on the floor.

If 7-11 really want to help prevent second-hand smoke, they could start by not selling cigs in the first place.

But that would affect the bottom line!.....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I think the figure of less than 20% of the population are smoking is somewhat padded. It definitely doesn't match what I see every day. I'm gonna guess it does not include those E-cigarettes, which are extremely popular, especially with the younger generation. .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Good move.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

TokyoTelegraph & cleo

You 2 hit the nail on the head. Just stop selling them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

About time. Shouldn't have to need to walk through a haze of nasty just to get into the conbini.

Take that habit another 30ft away from the entrance of any establishment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unfortunately people will just smoke and throw their butts on the ground, guaranteed. They removed ashtrays and banned smoking from the west side of my local station (it’s still allowed on the east side) and I still see people sitting there in front of the “smoking will get you a ¥2000 fine” signs, smoking.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Smoking is a terrible habit and really hard to quit. More than the littering that comes with it, I really hate it when the inconsiderate person walking in front of me and my family is walking along blowing smoke. Smells gross and causes others displeasure. Really unhealthy. This is great news!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I live in the countryside. When I do my daily walk, I see tobacco butts and coffee cans. If I go to the city, second hand smoke and coffee cans and Macdonald rubbish.

I think we all know about the govt connection to JT. But always everybody says “cancer”. There are around 2000 know medical conditions connected to passive smoking. Always people say “cancer”. People also think cancer will come in 100 years time. So...no problem. My research, experience and work, I hate smoking.

But people have a right to destroy their lives. Their choice. So smoking zones are a good idea to protect the general population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This a welcomed,but what is stopping smokers from smoking outside convenience stores? Sign or no sign, ashtray or not, smokers here pretty much don't give a damn. They'll carry on as usual.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Recently visited some famous gardens, No smoking signs everywhere. And ashtrays next to each one? Took a photo best photo all day. Note to self don't visit gardens in winter, it's all dead. Ashtrays from the amount of people gathered around them were the most popular thing there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why only Tokyo. Nationwide please. In fact lets just create smoking-booths where smokers can enjoy their cigarettes without bothering non-smokers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Dango Bango: "get your brooms ready to sweep a lot of butts then, do you think the kind of people who smoke outside convenience stores are the kind to follow social etiquette?"

Then the next step is to get police to start fining polluters. It'd be nice if they did things for the better of society because it's for the better of society, and not just because they are worried about appearance heading up to the Olympics. Why doesn't 7-11 do this everywhere else outside Tokyo if the concern is actually about second hand smoke, for example?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think the figure of less than 20% of the population are smoking is somewhat padded. It definitely doesn't match what I see every day. I'm gonna guess it does not include those E-cigarettes, which are extremely popular, especially with the younger generation. .

I think the stats are probably right, its just that you see way more of it because its more in the open here: smoking in restaurants, ashtrays everywhere, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good. But why even say anything? Just remove them all. Tell smokers go smoke in their house.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But people have a right to destroy their lives. Their choice. So smoking zones are a good idea to protect the general population.

I totally agree. The one positive I can say about California is that it has some of the strictest smoking laws around, extremely. If people want to smoke and destroy their lives, they have the absolute right, but it should be highly regulated to certain areas, it’s also getting harder to find smoking areas or even purchase cigarettes, all a good thing, but I do give Japan credit for trying, when I first came here almost 20 years ago, it was just like living in a giant chimney block, But at least people are becoming more aware about the negative affects of smoking and even the malls are better equipped and better designed to built regulated smoking areas for people that want to partake in a puff.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Family Mart seems intent on capturing this Smoker market.  Yesterday went to a Family Mart and had to walk through a fog of smoke to get inside.  Tons of heavy smokers hanging out outside all around the entrance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If they are selling cigarettes, then it is a social obligation to offer a disposal point for them. The same as they have bins for the drink and food they sell.

The execs of 7/11 will get to come across as all progressive while the staff on minimum wage will have to constantly run outside to sweep up cigarette buts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

even the 100 yen shops sell those portable, spring-loaded, handheld ashtrays that one can carry in one's pocket/bag. there's no need for convenience stores to offer storefront ashtrays. #personalresponsibility

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Typicall hysterical and irrational action pushed by the more extremist non smokers. I never have seen this amount of smokers outside combinis. And relax it' s not because of a puff that you get a disease.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@dew gun

And relax it' s not because of a puff that you get a disease.

Then tell that to my asthma. All it takes is one inhalation of some selfish person's second-hand poisonous smoke to trigger an attack.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about a designated smoking area AWAY from the entrance, and utilizing the bins for cigarettes that they already have - disposing so many bins just adds to pollution and just causes an inconvenience. I’m not a smoker but this seems commonsense if they are still selling cigarettes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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