The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has released its latest figures on habitual cigarette smoking in Japan.
According to research conducted by the ministry, the percentage of people smoking in Japan has fallen below 20% for the first time since records began, Sankei Shimbun reported Wednesday.
The ministry's research showed that the percentage of smokers dropped 3.9% last year. The ministry also added that the percentage of respondents who commented that they would like to try to stop smoking is the highest on record at nearly 40%.
When divided by gender, the study found that the percentage of men who smoke regularly fell 6% to 32.2%. The study also showed that 8.4% percent of women smoke regularly, a drop of 2.5% on last year, the ministry said.
The percentage of men who expressed a desire to quit smoking was 35.9%, an increase of 4.2% on last year. Among women, the ministry said, there was a 2% increase on last year, with 43.6% saying they wanted to stop smoking, Sankei reported.
A ministry spokesperson suggested that the cigarette price hike last year may have led to an increase in people quitting smoking, or considering it.
The health ministry has also announced plans to decrease the percentage of smokers to 12.2% within 10 years in an attempt to combat cancer.© Japan Today