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New law takes effect, banning smoking in gov't buildings, schools

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Smoking in schools was banned in 2004 or 2005. This appears to simply give that las teeth.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The only reason STARBUCKS JAPAN has thrived and blown the competition out of the water, is it has always had a NO SMOKING policy. Has nothing to do with the coffee. I think most people that go to a cafe like to eat and drink without the smell of dirty old cigarette smoke in the air. STARBUCKS proved this point many years ago.

23 ( +36 / -13 )

Under the revised Health Promotion Law, fines of up to 300,000 yen could be imposed on smokers and up to 500,000 yen on facility managers for breaking the law.

Even as a smoker myself, I am glad to see a law with some teeth in it! Enforcement will be another thing!

12 ( +21 / -9 )

The only reason STARBUCKS JAPAN has thrived and blown the competition out of the water, is it has always had a NO SMOKING policy. Has nothing to do with the coffee.

Hardly, even at STARBUCKS, with outside seating, you can still light up! Starbucks became what it is because of it's image from so many Japanese who traveled overseas and like their brand of drinks!

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

Existing eateries and bars with initial capital of up to 50 million yen and customer seating areas of up to 100 square meters will be exempted from the indoor smoking ban and will not be required to have separate smoking areas if they display "smoking allowed" signs at their entrances.

Critics claim the exceptions will allow smoking at more than half of the eateries and bars across the country.

And the critics are spot on, few businesses are started with more than 50 million yen in start up capital, and 100 square meters is fairly large for a smaller drinking establishment.

The exception effectively allows all the snacks and karaoke bars to allow their customers to smoke.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Smoking in schools was banned in 2004 or 2005

Only on the premises of public elementary to high schools. Private schools and universities were still allowed to smoke.

I wish they would extend this law to places where children congregate. Too many people enjoy smoking around children playgrounds.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Yeah, smoking was banned in schools ten years or so ago, but there were no penalties for non-compliance. Now, instead of the smokers being tucked away in a smaller little room they have the smokers out in the open in plain view of the students and faculty. Way to go!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Why so much effort and expense to support what is 19% of the population that still smokes, what a waste. Further, laws exist to control where to smoke and they are never enforced e.g. Shinagawa-my no walking and smoking is a joke, and cigarette butts - littering - is never challenged.

Worst for me though is I have young kids, so where I am my wife once ate out regularly we found only 1 local restaurant that is no smoking - Kushikatsu Tanaka - and 1 other where we can hire a private room away from smokers. I’ve plenty of money to spend on nights out but seems restaurateurs prefer the 19% minority smokers business.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Yubaru: Like that you're reasonable about the law. Wish you would quit smoking for the sake of the people that love you.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Why so much effort and expense to support what is 19% of the population that still smokes, what a waste. 

When the government is a stakeholder in Japan Tobacco they might be a little hesitant to pass laws curbing sales....

11 ( +13 / -2 )

When the government is a stakeholder in Japan Tobacco they might be a little hesitant to pass laws curbing sales....

Thats just it .

Beggars belief that in 21st century Japan is giving itself a pat on the back with policies like this....

' Health Ministry will be completely smoke free by 2022 '

The Health Ministry no less ...this is pathetic, the restaurant loopholes would be so laughable if this was not such a serious issue. As always dinosaur oyajis in power with brown envelopes from J tobacco sticking out of their pockets sabotaged the law when it was first proposed.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

That's too bad because whenever I wanted to smoke outdoor and could not, I used to rush to the nearest elementary school to light up... Damn Japan, you are changing!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes Olympics 'round the corner etc.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Finally, part of 1995 has arrived in Japan. Now for the rest of the the 90s, 00s and 10s to catch up as well.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The health ministry is expected to become completely smoke-free in the spring of 2022.

Am I the only one here who finds this sentence absolutely hilarious??

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Good. Japan is making better progress than USA with cemetery sticks. I’ve noticed what seems to be a strong resurgence of coffin nail sucking in USA. Ta’oos and smoking growing like crazy there. USA has been on a steep downhill slope since hippie generation.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

@GyGene

Are you really trying to hit at the US in smoking over Japan?

Facts: Smoking indoors is illegal in the US unless it is a specially designated place (cigar bars).

Facts: It is illegal to smoke in areas where children play in the US. That includes playgrounds and parks.

Facts: US is number 2 in the world in highest taxes levied on cigarettes (Australia #1).

Facts: It is illegal to smoke in your home or a car when an underaged child is present.

Facts: Since 1993, tobacco companies pay more corporate taxes than any other industry in America.

Facts: In the OECD, the only country cheaper than Japan to buy cigarettes is South Korea.

Now, you are telling me Japan, also known as a smokers paradise, is doing a better job than the US?

21 ( +22 / -1 )

The real cancer sticks are on the horizon. I don't smoke but everyone at the schools I taught at who did were very discrete and cautious about it, going outside even in bad weather to be away from the students. So why all this cheering about going after them? Teachers can hardly drink anymore. They can already hardly smoke. They can hardly have a social life. And they are over-worked. And the real cancer sticks are still on the horizon and they are called factory smoke stacks. There are going to be two kinds of teachers in the end: Complete robots unfit to teach our kids about real life and the ones that snap with all the damage that's going to cause. I don't smoke and I hate cigarettes. But geez, we non-smokers won long ago and all that is left is a few pockets of smoking here and there and it won't change until people stop smoking voluntarily. Let it go. Heck, people are even going after vaping now without even any evidence its harmful, just due to guilt by association.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

donno, I always smoked when i was back in school, granted you needed to hide from teachers....

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Went to a new Korean restaurant around my place last night with my partner. The food taste was awesome, good prices. And we were commenting what a great atmosphere the place has. Small, simple decoration but cozy, pretty awesome and friendly service and... and the next table lit up and everything changed. In such a place (about four tables) on person lit up and the entire place reeks of that nasty smell. We finished very quick and left, possibly not going back there again. Such a shame.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Wish we could ban people who smell like smoke. Oh, you go to a room for smoking? Great! Problem is when you come back into the office, you make the rest of us gag. It is truly a nasty form of harassment.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Garthgoyle, could you let me know where, Its great to have place where stinky nonsmokers dont go.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

hate smoking and its so bad for you (and people around you). I see so many people smoking here but things are slowly getting better

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is all for the successful 2020 Olympics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good.

My biggest culture shock in Japan was about 20 years ago not long after I had just arrived and I had to visit a local hospital. Not only was smoking allowed in the hospital, but the waiting room was so full of smokers there was a visible cloud hanging above everyone. They even had a cigarette vending machine in the place.

The whole "smoke anywhere you want" situation really came to a head with me when I had kids though - we found ourselves no longer able to go to most restaurants because we didn't want to expose them to the toxic air. I'm so glad they are finally getting serious about banning smoking, as with everything in this country its about 25 years behind other countries but at least its finally here.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Smoking is absolutely bad for health. Especially, I don't want to be imposed to smoke with nicotine, when I enjoy delicious foods and drinks at Izakaya style restaurants. So I want that bars and restaurants should display clearly "Smoking available at all seats".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

donno, I always smoked when i was back in school, granted you needed to hide from teachers....

you make it sound like you were proud of it!? I remember those guys in school also, dont know if it was a coincidence or not but their grades tended to be at the lower end of the class also.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Smoking is bad, think it's an age thing, as a youth busses had ashtrays, movies ashtray it was so endemic everywhere. Airplanes. Thankfully now it's as it should be socially rejected but my generation need little bit of space. Too much to ask for?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Smoking has been banned in public places in US for quite some time . . . it's a good law, healthy people should not be contaminated by second hand smoke.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wow, just like the rest of the world did 40 years ago. When is the govt going to start charging smokers more for health insurance?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Feeling my age here. Back when I was in high school, the school had a designated smoking area outdoors, for the STUDENTS. Kids would dash out between classes to suck down a coffin nail. Teachers could smoke in the faculty room. It was a joke that when you went to the faculty room and asked for a teacher, smoke would billow out the door when it was opened. Also, my father (an elementary school principal) was allowed to smoke in his office at school.

Filthy habit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Garthgoyle, could you let me know where, Its great to have place where stinky nonsmokers dont go.

Starbucks... You should try it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Smoking is bad, mmmmkaaay?  to all those telling smokers off, not like they don't know it is bad for them/smelly/expensive etc etc.  What happened to a little bit of freedom?

We will end up banning smoking just as we legalise drugs./

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It was banned in 2002, and yet, here were again. And it says it "CAN" be punished, but it won't. When it was banned in 2002 I saw people shrug, do it anyway, and there was NOTHING done about it. Who's going to report someone doing it? Who's going to fine them? Who's going to ensure payment?

No one. TIJ.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wish they made restaurants smoke free its the worst thing in the World to sit down to a nice dinner and someone lights up right next to you.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It was banned in 2002, and yet, here were again. And it says it "CAN" be punished, but it won't. When it was banned in 2002 I saw people shrug, do it anyway, and there was NOTHING done about it. Who's going to report someone doing it? Who's going to fine them? Who's going to ensure payment? 

No one. TIJ.

Yeah how dare they make this rule. The audacity of them.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Northerlife.

Not sure smoking is allowed in any restaurants where you can have a NICE dinner.  Peacock?  Denny's?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wish we could ban people who smell like smoke. Oh, you go to a room for smoking? Great! Problem is when you come back into the office, you make the rest of us gag. It is truly a nasty form of harassment.

Not any worse than the sweaty salary-men who wear suits and ties in 40C weather!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Kaerimashita

Yes. Smoking is bad. Yes, people should have the freedom to continue the poison that the governments and companies got them hooked on.

I don’t care about any of that. I simply don’t want smoking around my children. Furthermore, there should be designated smoking areas.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Hawaii, USA

NO smoking at beaches, parks and playgrounds, basketball, tennis courts, softball fields, public pools, bus stops.

Public and office buildings, hotels.

All restaurants and all bars.

With children in the car.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

OK, that's settled then. Japan takes a big step forward in banning smoking. Now the enforcement of the strict and scary laws. If that goes the same way as enforcing traffic laws here I have little hope.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Kaerimashita Not sure smoking is allowed in any restaurants where you can have a NICE dinner. Peacock? Denny's?

Dont know you will have tell find out for us..but if that is what you call a nice meal you can keep it..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posters here that had smokers light up next to them in the restaurants (with your kids there, no less), did you say anything to the offenders? You have the perfect right to ask them not to smoke, and you should. No need to yell, but say something! Then, if they refuse, tell the manager/staff that you are leaving and not paying for a meal you could not enjoy. End the tyranny of the 19%!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

P.S. And make SURE you tell the manager/staff and the smokers that you are never returning to the restaurant/izakaya until you see that "100% smoke free" sign on the door. Make your statement. These acts will add up.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Many schools have secret smoking areas for teachers to hide and smoke between classes or during planning periods. I don't think that will change. Maybe if there were more designated smoking areas available it wouldn't be such an issue for many establishments. Starbucks allows smoking if they have an outdoor area btw. Starbucks isn't famous because it doesn't have smoking indoors, it's famous because it's expensive and many people see it as popular so they go there. I wonder if they will include smoking around the city walking around the sidewalks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No problem with this, now can we move on to perfumes and cologne?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ttobacco companies and gun companies are too powerful for a few politicians to put up a fight

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Very logical step. The last thing I want is smoking. I'm a moderate drinker, though. ;‑)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a depressing photo...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They should also ban people who smell of strong smoke.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a depressing photo...

Why? A bunch of people minding their own business, not fighting, not ranting about others' behavior. When in need of a peaceful retreat and sympathetic faces, nothing beats the smoking shelter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Day three of giving up. So far so good.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would love if the non smokers, and kids were banned from all restaurants.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saw this yesterday at a government city office, now the smokers are across the street in the park where the kids play even though there’s an outside closed off open air smoking area on the top floor.

I wonder what the world will look like when the social justice uptight autocrats rule the world.

THX 1138 anyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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