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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