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Health ministry abandons complete smoking ban in restaurants

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YAY!

-26 ( +3 / -29 )

Smokers rights? Smokers should only have the right to smoke in their own personal space that doesn't affect others. I sincerely hope that more restaurants take it upon themselves to ban smoking, as clearly there are more non smoking customers than smokers.

25 ( +29 / -4 )

Good news. When I light up in a restaurant, one that even permits smoking, I get dirty looks from those around me. If you dont like smoking then dont go to a restaurant that permits smoking! Ill light up where ever I want to! (except in designated non-smoking areas of restaurants / cafes, etc..) Plus its usually foreigners that kick up all this fuss about smoking in Japan anyway

-34 ( +6 / -40 )

You get dirty looks because you create a dirty stink Todd. Reap what you sow.

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Would love to see the rights of non-smokers to not be given cancer by smokers given some consideration. Guess that is asking too much from this government.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Smokers are addicted to the tobacco drug. Exactly like those on Heroine, cocaine meth and so on. Just losers. Why shall non smoker people be exposed to this cancer

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Japan Tobbaco sponsored politicians win this one, try that in a society with an ounce of moral conduct.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Many smokers at home already are confined to balconies, hence we got the 'Hotaru/Firefly problem'.

Check the news or read up about it.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Good news. When I light up in a restaurant, one that even permits smoking, I get dirty looks from those around me.

And you stroll onto female only carriages and use your mobile because your needs are apparently more important than everyone else. I see a pattern emerging here.

I'm a smoker but if I was making someone uncomfortable (as you admit you regularly do) I would extinguish the cig immediately.

I think the tobacco companies have too much sway and while I wouldn't want to see a ban, I look forward to the day when the habit becomes a niche pastime and vaping is the way to go if one must imbibe.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Health ministry abandons no smoking that is pretty funny.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Why shall non smoker people be exposed to this cancer

If you dont like it, leave the restaurant or walk away from the smoke. No one is forcing anyone to be exposed to anything.

-23 ( +6 / -29 )

If you dont like smoking then dont go to a restaurant that permits smoking!

If you don't like dirty looks then don't light up in a restaurant near non smokers.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Cowards. No surprises here. Convenience trumps health every time in this nation.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Reintroduce Smoking Clubs & Smoking Jachets like existed before smoking became mainstream

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A big win for JT and the Finance Ministry - very sad. But banning smoking in restaurants would almost certainly raise food sales. Restaurant owners should support the Health Ministry ... and the public should boycott JT.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

truly disappointing.

Why is Japan lagging in this area.. it breaks my heart, the young people wasting time, money and health on something people already know is no good.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

can I have non smokers banned from my favorite smoking restaurant? They spoil the athmo.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

you can probably already smoke... not sure what you are complaining about.

Can you start a dry-cleaning fund?? your smokes stink if nothing else...

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The health and education ministry needs to rejuvenate their task of educating the people about the health hazards of smoking.

Just can't imagine a government that is acting like the chairman of the cigarette industry in todays modern Japan.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

yes, smokers have rights, but they don't have a right to cause restaurant and bar workers to develop cancer.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I mean i dont want non smokers giving me looks and my smoking restaurant, just same coin on the flip side.

why dry cleaning? dont you own a laundry machine?

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

yes, smokers have rights, but they don't have a right to cause restaurant and bar workers to develop cancer.

Agreed, which is why I tend to ask if there's a smoking section and even if there is, I'll step outside half the time.

I have no sympathy for the arrogance of smokers who continue to chimney away, even when its clear that the smoke is causing distress.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

why dry cleaning? dont you own a laundry machine?

Dry cleaning is a different method of cleaning fabrics, it cannot be done in a standard laundry machine.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

again diversion.. , if one has laundry machine, proper one - they dont typically need dry cleaning so I am not sure what dry laundry fund has thats relevant ....

anyways, glad Japan chose to not infringe on private rights.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Go on then CH3CHO, please explain exactly how I bent my facts.

Him and the T are frat buddies. Bros before ... etc...

(the above statement is bending the lack of facts. I have no idea whether or not they are frat buddies)

The facts are that the T doesn't care if you are distressed by his smoking in restaurants. Japan's probably just a big fun hotel for him where he can do anything he likes and skerew anyone who takes issue with it.

I now feel an even more immense amount of guilt being a smoker.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

again diversion.. , if one has laundry machine, proper one - they dont typically need dry cleaning so I am not sure what dry laundry fund has thats relevant ....

You asked. I answered. Dry cleaning tends to be for items that just cannot be washed in a standard laundry manchine. Items like a tux or extremely delicate clothing. Or items that have the legend "dry clean only" on the label.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Todd Gak, Dango Bong, Gaijin Playa was it for a while there, I suspect this is the work of a single troll. I'm surprised the Gak doesn't claim he's touring children's cancer wards while smoking a cigar, just to rile us up. I don't believe a word he says.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I'm fine with this as long as the smoking area is separated completely from the non-smoking area. Also, no one should be allowed admittance to the smoking area if they have not reached age 20. It pisses me off to see some jiji dragging his young children into the smoking area.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

So, let's welcome the world to the 2020 Tokyo olympics in 1965, shall we? This goes far beyond a cop out. I think it's high time all these old horses were put out to pasture and Japan got some young blood with balls in parliament.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Todd Gak, Dango Bong, Gaijin Playa was it for a while there, I suspect this is the work of a single troll. I'm surprised the Gak doesn't claim he's touring children's cancer wards while smoking a cigar, just to rile us up. I don't believe a word he says.

LOL.

I dunno if he/she/it is the same person as barf boy but the username is a misspell of an obscure character from Seinfeld.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Smoking tobacco in public allowed, smoking marijuana in the privacy of your own home not allowed. It's just so twentieth century logic, innit?! The Japanese government need to wake up and smell the covfefe.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I'm fine with this as long as the smoking area is separated completely from the non-smoking area. Also, no one should be allowed admittance to the smoking area if they have not reached age 20. It pisses me off to see some jiji dragging his young children into the smoking area.

This. I know restaurants are family orientated for the most part but I cannot understand people who bring their kids to a smoky Izakaya late in the evening...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hiro S Nobumasa Today 05:00 pm JST

The health and education ministry needs to rejuvenate their task of educating the people about the health hazards of smoking.

Here is the link to the study by the Ministry of Health Welfare and Labor on passive smoking.

http://mhlw-grants.niph.go.jp/niph/search/Download.do?nendo=2015&jigyoId=153031&bunkenNo=201508017A_upload&pdf=201508017A0004.pdf

On page 13 is the list of studies of passive smoking that the ministry relied on. (English translation is on the list.) If the "relative risk" is greater than 1.0 with statistical significance, i.e. the lower bound of 95% CI is greater than 1.0, we can say passive smoking has health risk. Of the 11 studies on the list, 9 studies do NOT show higher risk with statistical significance. 

On page 14 is another list. Of the 8 studies on the list, NONE shows higher risk with statistical significance.

It is unscientific and even unethical to conclude "passive smoking has higher health risk" based on these studies.

On top of this, these studies are not about the passive smoking in restaurants but constant passive smoking between non-smoking wife and smoking husband. Since spousal passive smoking does not show higher risk, it is safe to conclude sporadic passive smoking in a restaurant does not increase health risk.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The cook at the local Izakaya smokes while preparing food for the customers.

As if the smoke somehow enhances the flavor of the food...lol

Just as Japanese pump themselves up over how wonderful tasting and healthy Japanese food is, this one always takes true prize.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I believe in the market. Which is the way it should be.

If you don't like smoking, don't go to a restaurant that allows smoking. It's as simple as that.

Same is true of workers. You don't want to be exposed to smokers' smoke, get a job where you won't be exposed. Plenty of places to work out there.

The market and the preferences of society will help find that balance.

Rather than some heavy handed nanny state telling us all what to do or not do.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

By 2022? They are certainly the can't do government. I guess it's easy when the populace is convinced that nothing can be done and everything is a "nothing to be done" problem. Japan has just become so nihilistic. Led by cynics down the primrose path.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

zones2surf

If you don't like smoking, don't go to a restaurant that allows smoking. It's as simple as that.

That is called "race to the bottom".

One smoker among non-smokers can ruin the air in the whole restaurant. While one non-smoker among smokers does not magically clean the whole room.

It continues to amaze me the arrogance of smokers, thinking you have some special right above other people because of your addiction.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Looks like someone's been passing around the brown envelopes again...

As for smokers telling non-smokers to go somewhere else - why should we? WE aren't the ones filling the air with cancer causing chemicals, WE aren't the ones forcing people to go elsewhere for a nice meal or drink. Passive smoking kills, it's why sensible countries have banned smoking in buildings open to the public such as Scotland (we also have a ban on smoking in cars with children being carried).

When I was in Japan last month it was so nice to go into a Japanese cafe where the smokers were corralled into glass partitioned, air conditioned sections so the rest of us could breathe easier... not just a glass screen but a sealed room. Nice.

This is a big slap in the face for people after cleaner air in cafes and restaurants in Japan.

Oh and if anyone doubts that passive smoking kills... read about the British entertainer Roy Castle... thanks to performing in clubs he developed lung cancer from inhaling smoke... he never smoked in his life. His death was the catalyst for the massive change in attitude towards smoking in the UK... passive smoking kills, and only the tobacco industry, those sponsored by the tobacco industry and smokers deny it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Second hand smoke has been proven to kill non-smokers. Show me proof that air without cigarette smoke has ever killed a smoker. Smokers so called rights end where non-smokers rights to breathe clean air begin. End of argument.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Ah, but it's not about how many people are killed by passive smoking. It's about manners! I hate going into a smokey bar or restaurant and I'm a casual smoker. My perfect example of the bad manners and stupidity of Japan's smoking laws is, the Hachiko statue at Shibuya crossing. It is a world famous spot that nearly every tourist that comes to Japan visits. However, right next to it is a large smoking area with smokers spewing out into the 'supposedly' non-smoking area. The garden around the statue is littered with hundreds of butts. Is this the image Japan wants to give the millions of tourist who will visit Japan during the Olympics? Smoking in private rooms of Izakaya restaurants should be allowed, but smoking in any area of the restaurant should not. I cannot count the amount of times I've seen a mother or father in an izakaya with their sleepy kid on their lap smoking away merrily at 11pm. Cancer may well be the result, but bad manners and stupidity are the cause.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

JJT wins again. How about the rights of non smokers?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Unhealthy Ministry or Anti-Health Ministry?!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Smoking can become a physical dependency

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/QuitSmoking/YourNon-SmokingLife/Why-is-it-so-hard-to-quit_UCM_324053_Article.jsp#.WTFKAdwlHIU

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nicotine-dependence/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202603

I wish all smokers the best in trying to kick the habit. Even those of us with a false sense of entitlement. It ain't easy but it can be done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex Einz: "anyways, glad Japan chose to not infringe on private rights."

Why, so you can infringe on the private rights on non-smokers and people who don't want to give themselves cancer so readily?

Japan did a pretty good job of announcing to the world they were going non-smoking for the Olympics in an effort to get with the times. I don't think they're going to be quite so vocal about back-pedalling in the international media since, once again, it's become simply lip-service.

As if they would have enforced it anyway...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Smoker's rights? Is this a joke? What about the rights of others, including workers, not to breathe in smoker's poisonous fumes?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Ministry of Health"???? Absolutely disgraceful.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you dont like it, leave the restaurant or walk away from the smoke. No one is forcing anyone to be exposed to anything. typical smokers mentality of the 1970s, Its a smokers duty that their second hand smoke doesn't contaminate others. If I was in a restaurant seated near you id make it a point to cough and sneeze in your direction, too bad if a bit of spray gets on you. Leave the restaurant or move to a different table.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

anyways, glad Japan chose to not infringe on private rights. but restaurants and bars arnt private spaces they're enclosed public spaces

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Smoker’s rights? Addicts right’s? They end at my nostrils.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

clearly also logic is burned out in smokersas well and strikes before the lung cancer does.

Whoa, there..!

Oppenheimer and Einstein were both smokers and both logical folks. I'm not going to defend the self entitled smokers here who don't give a jot about others but some smokers are considerate human beings & as mentioned earlier - would extinguish the smoke or step out of the premises if it was causing stress.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Too much money tied up in this. The whole thing was probably just a token effort so they can claim to be 'trying' with the IOC whilst not making any permanent changes. The fact that even some medical institutions still allow smoking on the premises shows how serious the Ministry of 'Health' is about this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I do airbrushing a lot. Part-time do custom paints ln bikes(biker myself).

General rule smell it equal inhaled it, Hence the gear full face mask, body suit. Yep your skin also absorbs/inhales)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Perhaps it is time for the IOC to pull the games from Tokyo on the grounds of non compliance and endangering the health of competitors and spectators!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What would smokers think if I put something really stinky on the table next to them?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What would smokers think if I put something really stinky on the table next to them?

That's what really gets me. If I were to walk down the street spraying something stinky at people, I'd be arrested on the spot. But smokers? No problem, its their "right".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I get dirty looks from those around me. 

You will still get dirty looks. Disgusting habit, I feel sorry for people who blow smoke my way.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The JP gov makes too much money from smoking, tax from tobaco and restaurants, profit from JT, early deaths - less pension payments.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

the rights of non-smokers weights nothing compare to the tobacco industries is saying the Japanese govt.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Government of Japan owns 1/3rd of Japan Tobacco - it's Japan's military arms industry

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Now all the people visiting for the Tokyo olympics will be able to see how backwards Japan is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There is no such thing as smokers' right as far as public places go. "Smokers rights' means polluting your air and making snide remarks or worse when you complain. "Smokers' rights' means burning your as you walk by and not caring beyond a quick nod. "Smokers rights" means leaving a sickening residue and cigarette butts after they are long gone. Too hell with "smokers' rights." And shame of the Ministry of Ill Health for caving into the tobacco industry.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

KnowBetter June 2 06:36 pm JST

Second hand smoke has been proven to kill non-smokers.

Of course not. There is no scientific proof. Most of the studies on passive smoking are between non-smoking wife and smoking husband. Some of them had statistically significant increase in risk, but all others show no significant risk. It is far from proven.

KnowBetter, would you give us a link to the proof?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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