Ikoma City Hall prohibits anyone from using elevators for up to 45 minutes after smoking

By SoraNews24

Leading up to the 2020 Olympic games, Japan, once a haven for smokers among developed countries, has recently begun sweeping measures to make smoking increasingly inconvenient without outright banning it. While other countries have long ago banished the act from eateries and many other public spaces, Japan has only begun to gradually trim down the available smoking areas in the past decade.

However, as this latest development in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture, shows, the country is catching up with a fervor. Starting this April, Ikoma City Hall is prohibiting anyone from using its elevators for up to 45 minutes after having a cigarette.

According to posters hung in the building, “When coming indoors after smoking outside, it is said that it takes 45 minutes for the concentration of harmful substances in a person’s breath to return to pre-smoking levels.” Posters also advise smokers, “After smoking, you need to face downwind and take a deep breath before coming back inside.”

It is unclear what penalty awaits someone who rides the elevator without thoroughly decontaminating themselves, but last year Ikoma prohibited smoking around their largest station (Ikoma Station) except for designated areas under penalty of a 20,000 yen fine.

This is just one of many moves being taken to curb smoking in Japan. On March 30, major fast-food chain Mos Burger announced they will be phasing out smoking sections in all 1,300 of their stores nationwide by March, 2020.

Mos Burger is the latest chain alongside McDonald’s, KFC, and Saizeriya to take steps towards becoming completely non-smoking in anticipation of an impending government ban on smoking in major eating establishments.

It appears many online couldn’t be happier with the moves, the biggest complaint being: “What took you so long?”

“All right!”

“A little late, but very welcome.”

“I think we’re going in the right direction here.”

“Good job!”

“I wonder why they let people smoke in these places to begin with.”

“I say let the smokers have the fast food places, leave the rest for us.”

“I can add Mos Burger to my list of safe places to go.”

Ikoma City Hall is a very specific location in the grand scheme of Japan, but with this tactic making news across the country the trend of 45-minute elevator lock-outs may catch on. Regardless of right or wrong, hopefully any place that does enact it keeps their AEDs fully charged, because there’s bound to be some “collateral damage” from making smokers use the stairs en masse like that.

Source: Biglobe News, NHK News Web, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese company prohibits employees from smoking on their commute to the office

-- Japan’s cigarette culture: elderly ramen customer’s gesture of courtesy goes up in smoke

-- Japanese organization wants stricter regulations against people smoking on their own balconies

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Sounds worthless, but whatever they do to pressure and discourage smokers - my support stands with them.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I can appreciate this, I know as a non-smoker avoiding The Diseased (tm) never ends.

But they'll still stink up the place.

Maybe if we could spray them back, or start a Potpourri Police?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Smokers stink. Sometimes the smell is overbearing and also it is dangerous to others. The same 5000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are in the smokers clothes after they smoke. It stinks but also causes cancer. Smokers are pubic health threats to the rest of Japan. They need to be treated as such. And taxed for their damage to themselves, higher medical care costs, and for the damage they cause to others, second and third hand cancer.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Not worthless. I like this idea - it's a good move - stops them smelling up the elevator of course, and forces them to wheeze their way up the stairs which gives them more exercise and makes them question the effect of smoking on their lungs.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Thank you.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It s not about smoking, it is about control and people putting their values on you. People should do what I did. I quit work, stay home, collect welfare, do what I want. I might have to live in their society but, I do not have to contribute.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

I am former smoker (up to one pack a day for about two years, tapering off and then trying very hard to quit entirely). This kind of regulation would have helped in my struggle. It is notable that no opponents of this plan have written comments!

One person I met claimed that his grandfather smoked and lived to a great old age, so he himself felt immune. It would be wise to warn such people, if possible without being moralistically putting on airs.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And farters.

Old saying, Strangerland. He who smelt it, dealt it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hmm, how would they enforce this? What if you walked past smokers and now you smell like smoke? Will they require your breath to be tested before allowing you to enter? Will they search your person for cigarettes? If you refuse will you be denied entry?

Without detailed information on enforcement, this restriction sounds too invasive

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ikoma City Hall has 4 floors it seems. Wheezing up the stairs will do them some good.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ClippetyClop: Only four floors? Good to know. Hardly cruel and unusual punishment then! I reckon every office building should enforce this - though it means smokers get even more time away from their work, it is ultimately a nice bit of passive-aggressive ruling.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So ¥1000 for outside Osaka station, ¥20000 for an elevator where no tourists go?

i guess you can tell your boss that I was 45mins late from lunch because I had a smoke.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's always interesting to see things like this.

The sentiment is not bad, but, in the end, symbolic at best.

Now, if Japan was serious about fighting smoking, the national government would: 1) sell their stake in JT, and 2) increase taxes dramatically, and 3) use all tax revenue to specifically fund anti-tobacco ads and health care initiatives.

But the oyaji in Kasumigasaki and Kokkai-gijido are not serious about this issue... because all of them are chain smokers who love smoking wherever they darn well please!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s definitely a step in the right direction. I just wish that they would put smoke detectors in the bathrooms in stations. It seems, at least at Ikoma station, once they removed the smoking area from the Chuo line side, people just started smoking in the bathrooms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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