national

Japan wrestles over smoking ban as Olympics loom

81 Comments
By Elaine Lies and Kwiyeon Ha

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

81 Comments
Login to comment

"...she can't afford new ventilation,"

More like proper ventilation. My clothes stink after carousing in Japanese bars and I've basically stopped going. I dread to think what all that strangers' smoke has done to my lungs. Time for the government to get serious and shut down these business owners who are too cheap to protect the health of their customers.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

"Only 18 percent of people may smoke, but the percentage of smoking customers in smaller restaurants is much higher - nearly half. We must take care of them."

Well maybe the percentage is so high because many non-smokers won't go there, and that's a big clientele to miss out on. If a ban is put in place, it probably won't mean every smoker will stop going out, but it will bring more non-smoking costumers, and since they represent a much bigger part of the population, there's money to be made.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

this is not pro or anti smoking, but I do not think you need to sell your soul, change your culture and laws and appease Westerners just to host a 2 week event.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

"The [fill in the blank] issue is something that can't really be solved in a Japanese manner," he said. "Without outside pressure, Japan won't move on [anything]"

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Welcome to cancer corner! Sorry, but Japan needs to get with the times. If they're going to allow smoking, don't say there's a ban then allow it. Don't say "there's no proof it harms anyone", or deflect by saying "alcohol is just as bad", then scoff at the idea of regulating alcohol further. Start putting pictures of cancerous lungs and what not on the packages; don't avoid it because, "It might make people not want to smoke!", then claim Japan is an advanced country. Half measures and lip-service laws mean nothing when you are serious about addressing an issue -- but maybe that's the point; they are not serious but just want to look like they are doing something.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Japan's cultural emphasis on good manners and sensitivity to others should suffice.

"I believe Japanese people really are considerate of others," she said. "It's more important for us to trust people than enact a really repressive law."

Hahaha! Good luck with that.

If that was that case we wouldn't be going thru this smoking ban thing.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"I believe Japanese people really are considerate of others," she said. "It's more important for us to trust people than enact a really repressive law."

I'm going to print this off and read it aloud the next time an oyaji is walk / smoking ahead of me on the sidewalk. I'll compile a list of the no-doubt considerate responses I get.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Only 18 percent of people may smoke, but the percentage of smoking customers in smaller restaurants is much higher - nearly half

The reason being that non-smokers avoid the stinky places. Ban smoking, fumigate the place, make it a pleasant place in which to sit and eat and drink, and you will get more custom, not less.

"Tobacco is a very important tax resource,"

And smoking-related illnesses, for both smokers and second-hand smokers, are a huge drain on the health services and a drain on income tax resources since people are lying in hospital beds instead of working and earning.

Yes Prime Minister S01E03 - The Smoke Screen - YouTube

"If we do nothing, in the next ten years in this country alone we're going to have one million premature deaths."

"Yes, but evenly spread - not just in marginal constituencies!"

--

"Where four billion pounds of revenue is at stake, I think we should have to consider very carefully whether we have the right to indulge ourselves in the rather selfish luxury of pursuing moral principles."

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Sorry, but Japan needs to get with the times.

I totally do not agree. I quit smoking so I am not pro smoking, but if Japanese want to smoke and drink and whatnot they should. The olympics are coming so change the culture and law for a two week fluff event that will be forgotten the week after? I don't agree.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

 15,000 deaths a year from second-hand smoke, mostly women and children.

 

How many deaths are enough to make them change the law and the selfish culture? All 'modern' countries have struct regulations against smoking and the laws are strictly enforced. And, these countries have adjusted to the changes without losing their culture. The Japan Tobacco argument is false! Australia is a good example. It has some of the strictest laws on antismoking and the most expensive cigarettes in the world, but the smokers still hover around 25% of the population. Pubs, clubs and restaurants did not lose customers. They actually gained more customers who enjoy the smoke-free environment. Many Japanese smokers have disgusting manners and should be fined for them. This morning I saw an old 'jiji' standing in front of the station puffing away right next to a group of elementary aged kids. When he was finished he just threw the butt on the ground and walked into the station. He didn't even bother to stomp it out. That is a $200 on the spot fine in Australia. Furthermore, I can't count the amount of times I've seen some donkey's butt empty his ashtray out his car window at a red light. The fine for throwing a lit cigarette out a car window in Australia is $2,000 and/or six months in prison because of the bushfire danger, but it enforced nationally. Japan needs to stop dithering and pandering to these groups and just set the no smoking laws asap! They will get over it! - Japan, the land afraid of change!

10 ( +16 / -6 )

here's an idea: go find another source of tax revenue! if that is one of the main arguments for allowing indoor smoking, then that's just pathetic.

that being said, is there really a need for a smoking ban in all establishments for tourists? already almost 20 million people a year come here, and they seem to be managing the situation ok. if the ban were to help mama sans and japanese restaurant workers then i would be all for it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Dango Bongo: "I quit smoking so I am not pro smoking, but if Japanese want to smoke and drink and whatnot they should."

Then they should stop pretending to be a nation that knows better, and stop saying, "We'll ban smoking!" for the Olympics, then turn around to the business owners and personal interests, and whisper, "Except you won't have to enforce it!", or things like, "We are making smoking illegal, punishable by up to a 100 yen, voluntary fine for those who walk more than 200 meters with a cigarette in tow, or who smoke under several "no smoking" signs after being kindly asked not to and bowed to by police!"

1 ( +6 / -5 )

No they should not smoking degrades human body and ultimately taints the mind, abusive drinking results in about the same except in reversed order. Saying "it's fine it's their thing" is irresponsible.

I do agree about the part where they do not need to change the culture to appeal to a bunch of some million westerners when they come for yet another Olympics. Would ban smoking and restrict alkohol availability nevertheless.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Welcome to cancer corner! Sorry, but Japan needs to get with the times.

No they don't. It's stupid to make such a change for 2 weeks (as someone said above).

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

The smoking ban will be permsnent no talk of for duration of the Olympics((longer than 2 weeks paralympics anyone).

Smoking ban is now the standard for Olympic venues. Tokyo/Japan knew that when they bid to host.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Sheesh, its a sporting event.

If the IOC required that all Olympic venues be non-smoking upfront and Japan bid on that basis, fine. If not, then clearly this is a matter for IOC and the JOC to negotiate as it relates to the venues.

But, beyond the venues, if the Japanese public and society are not willing to adopt something on a broader basis, then that is their choice.

And, seriously, let's look at how successful the Olympics were in changing Russia's stance towards gays or China's stance regarding political tolerance.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The IOC is pushing for the ban.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure healthcare for Japanese cancer patients will be greater than 700 mil.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm a typical drinker. But the last place I want to drink at is a smoking allowed bar. It surely spoils my booze. :‑(

7 ( +9 / -2 )

" smoking customers .... We must take care of them."

Good lord. Even as someone who enjoys the very occasional cigarette with his father and brother in-law, this type of thinking is the exact typical state of mind of Japan's and why it is often seen as archaic and unwilling to change. Its why so many companies just implode rather than change with the times. Japan is like a river and a bolder, it takes either centuries for anything to change or it takes something MASSIVE to occur. More times than not, it's just the stubborn boulder.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Just a user: "No they don't. It's stupid to make such a change for 2 weeks (as someone said above)."

Smart -- VERY smart -- to make changes not just to APPEAR to want to change, but for the betterment of society and for everyone's health, PERMANENTLY. Anyone thinking they should put a ban in place for a mere two weeks is a fool; they should put it in place forever.

Now, they should start now by increasing the cost of a package of cigarettes to a minimum of 1000 yen, starting YESTERDAY. Second, start actually enforcing existing no smoking laws.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Pro smoking Politicians and only 18 precent of the population smoke. How could these Pro smoking Politician hold their seats. I bet none of their electorate are inform that they promote smoking, if the electorate was these bloke would not hold their seats. Ok why don't they stop any government medical cover for smokers. if they are in a bind try over indoor smoking. But really it is a democracy and 82 % don't smoke. Banning smoking indoor should not be a problem, if Japan is a real democracy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Like to see them ban smoking in cars with kids in them while they are at it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Smart -- VERY smart -- to make changes not just to APPEAR to want to change.

No idea what you are talking about, but if Japan does not want to do this then they shouldn't. Especially for a 2 week event that will be forgotten in a heartbeat.

Plus there are already lots of snobby non-smoking places in Tokyo for all the whingers, hard to find smoking places these days - no need for this over-reaction as it seems they already have their way to a certain degree.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Cemetary stick, aka cigarette, smoke is loathesome. I agree with the above who said the health care costs most surely outweigh the tax revenue.

"Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette,

puff, puff, puff, 'till you puff yourself to death.

Tell St Peter at the Golden Gate,

That you hate to make him wait,

But you've just gotta have

Another cigarette."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cemetary stick, aka cigarette, smoke is loathesome. I agree with the above who said the health care costs most surely outweigh the tax revenue.

Smokers die younger and cost less to heath systems. Plus they bring in tax revenue.

Don't get me wrong, it's a dirty habit, and quitting was one of the smartest things I ever did with my life.

But the argument of health care costs is a flawed one.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Japan doesn't enforce anything that has to do with smoking.Thinking that a ventilation system in a bar or a special "room" for smokers will solve the problem and make all the smokers happy is a joke. Just wait until the perfect storm of foreigners and Japanese get together with a high powered law firm and sues the hell out of the government for giving them cancer and makes the country an international embarrassment, only then will the government consider changing the law.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Where I live I only see salarymen smoking out of boredom. Just give them something to do and they probably won't smoke anymore.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don't listen to these Political Correctness peddlers Japan! Smoking should be anyone's liberty!

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Delegate responsibility for banning or regulation of smoking to local authorities.

Anyway, banning smoking is one thing, but 2300-2500 yen per pack as in Australia certainly has an impact on people's willingness to smoke or not, and also on tax revenue.

I can never understand public hypocrisy in western countries about tacit encouragement of marijuana and the war on tobacco.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"Only 18 percent of people may smoke, but the percentage of smoking customers in smaller restaurants is much higher - nearly half," said Tetsuro Kojo, head of the association. "We must take care of them."

Duh..it's because no non-smoker wants to sit in a tiny cancer trap of a restaurant. Try doing some market research for once.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What do you expect from a culturally and ethnically homogeneous country that doesn't like change? I like Dango bong's idea.

I do not think you need to sell your soul, change your culture and laws and appease Westerners just to host a 2 week event.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why not change the laws for 2 weeks? If you have a house guest who's allergic to peanuts, you're not going to serve anything with nuts, right?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The second hand smoke statistics are total nonsense....now the slant on it is that its women and children...do the math of 15,000 people in all of Japan and break that down....is it 1 person in Tokyo? Why aren't any of these stats weighed against the fact that Japanese have enjoyed their incredible life span while having such a high percentage of smokers? And as to all the people who do not enjoy smoking I say simply go someplace that does not allow smoking..I say build non smoker rooms instead of locking up the smokers. I fell victim as an owner of a night club in NYC where the smoking bans started. I did not smoke at the time but I allowed my customers to enjoy themselves. The smoking ban when it was pursued in court was not for customer protection. The lawyers at the time knew they could not win with the vague statistic of second hand smoke, Instead it was passed as a protection for the workers in the establishments. Think about it...I invest my money and take all the risks of operating a business only to be told that I must not let people smoke while they are enjoying there night out. I say to non smokers, if you do not like smoking, please go someplace else. Instead I am told I must bow down to unwanted customers in a business that I own. Customers can always choose where to spend their money...that is the root of capitalism and the free market economy...as I used to say in NYC...don't go away mad just go away....my business my choice

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I don't smoke and I live in a small town. So there are mostly small restaurants.

"I believe Japanese people really are considerate of others," she said. "It's more important for us to trust people than enact a really repressive law."

From personal experience I doubt about Japanese being considerate of others when it comes to tobacco. People light their cigarretes before and after they eat, but most of the times they don't care about me (or others, for that matter) eating next to them when they light up their cigarretes. So I have to move to another table. That makes me look for different restaurants to eat, because only the chain restaurants ban smoking inside and most of those don't cook the food small restaurants cook.

I think if the food is good and smoking is not allowed or partially allowed, smokers will make the "sacriffice" of waiting to light up their cigarrettes until they have finished eating and leave, because that is not going to affect the way they preceive food, supposedly. But when it's the opposite situation, no matter how good is the food: if it comes with tobacco smoke non smokers won't get in. So it seems to me that making a place full smoker is going to lead to lose more customers than banning smoking completely or partially.

But who knows.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For us Japanese salary men drinking sake and smoking is one of the few ways we can unwind after a long day at work. Banning us from smoking in restaurants would take away one of the few pleasures we Japanese look forward to and cause unnecessary stre

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Strangerland May. 2  10:22 pm JST Smokers die younger and cost less to heath systems. Plus they bring in tax revenue.

As a matter of fact, they don't die younger. The overwhelming majority of smokers who develop lung cancer, emphysema, etc. do so in their 70s.

I'm not endorsing cigarette smoking - can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke. But I get tired of the continued misrepresentation of the facts by the CDC, American Lung Association, etc., especially those regarding secondhand smoke. Yes, smoking does shorten the lives of many smokers, but it's taking up to ten years off the end of one's life. Rarely does anyone in his 40s die of smoking related lung cancer.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But we can hope

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smokers die younger and cost less to heath systems. Plus they bring in tax revenue.

Two important men in my life were heavy smokers. One had a heart attack in his forties, the other developed emphysema, heart problems and a range of other smoking-related conditions also in his forties, eventually dying of lung cancer. Both received disability benefit, and with that and their repeated trips to the doctor and bouts of hospitalisation they cost the taxpayer a whole lot more than they paid in in tobacco duty. (They bought their cigs out of their benefits, so it was a case of Peter paying Paul in any case....)

A smoking death isn't a quick, clean death. It's slow, lingering, very unpleasant and very costly to the taxpayer.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The fears of anti smoking laws by restaurant owners never materialized when smoking was banned in other countries and cities around the world in the late 80's to 90's as the public health science of the damaging effects of second hand smoke were made apparent. In particular it's the workers of those restaurants that are the most in danger.

With the vested interest being more important than the 15,000 deaths a year as indicated in the article it's hard to think any influence will get rid of smoking indoors

Will the IOC impose any sanction?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The point I find in the article most amusing is the considerate part, yes, EXCEPT for this one thing most Japanese people are on the whole are considerate..

How many times have I seen some old man light up in front of kids and pregnant women... and when walking around throw the butt where ever they please.

Personal freedom, how about the freedom to go get some food or a drink, neither of which effect anyone else without some unhealthy, and at very least stinking smoke all in my lungs and all over my clothes.

Japan.. get with the program, this isn't western cultural oppression is about having healthy environments for customers and workers. (China managed to do it) In the many times I have discussed this with co-workers and friends I can only say, get some gumption and find a new way to start a conversation with your boss or whom ever else you are struggling to talk to.

This isn't some special "Japanese" issue, it has happened everywhere else too, and in the end after a small dip most places have more new customers after, the only thing that makes is a special case is the governments investment in JT....

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sounds great change the tobacco smoking laws to Western Standards, then imposing the West's standard of smoking marijuana as a natural & accepted thing. SMH.....

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What makes you think smoking marijuana is a western thing? It's been part of humanity ever since we figured out it you could smoke it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

gaijinkurd,

Its not a western standard, its a human standard, human rights to allow customers and workers especially to have healthy environments to be in...

Well all know marijuana isn't going to be anything allowed in Japan anytime soon, if ever, and I haven't seen anyone argue for it in this thread, so what does it have to do with the topic at hand?

Your logical fallacy is;

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

with a bit of;

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope

6 ( +7 / -1 )

change the tobacco smoking laws to Western Standards

Nice try. It's also an "Eastern Standard." When I recently went to Vietnam and Thailand, indoor smoking was prohibited. And Singapore is striving to create an entirely "smoke free environment" - stricter than in just about any Western country.

Portraying a public health issue as a cultural one is pretty low.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I still do not believe Japan needs to "sell out" its culture just to host a fluff 2 week event that will be forgotten a week later.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Thanks for the above info JeffLee. The health ministry should point to that if they haven't. Other Asian countries are beating Japan!

Though how could you beat the argument that "Japanese are considerate to others so we don't need regulations"...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Portraying a public health issue as a cultural one is pretty low.

wait what? Asia has public health standards!? That's funny!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The U.S. had this challenge in the 60's and changed. Move on Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"I believe Japanese people really are considerate of others," she said. "It's more important for us to trust people than enact a really repressive law."

Wow, this guy must not live in Japan. Smokers here are addicted fiends that care nothing about others. The world is simply their ashtray and the people around them collateral damage to their cancer spreading terrorism They are just like heroin addicts, nothing matters to them other than getting their nicotine fix. They would still smoke on planes if they could, some still do on trains even though that is banned here for the most part.

Smokers cannot think logically as they are junkies. It is up the 80% of the rest of us who do not want to get lung cancer and die an early death to set up rules to force smokers only to kill themselves and not others.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I still think about 25-30% of people in Japan smoke. Still need to have more true non-smoking sections.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I lived in Japan 3 years ago. I found a great music open mic in Shibuya. I had to stop going after a few visits. Every time I went, I came home stinking of cigarette smoke. It was horrendous. It was like stepping into the 90s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland May. 3  08:01 am JST What makes you think smoking marijuana is a western thing? It's been part of humanity ever since we figured out it you could smoke it.

In the contemporary world, marijuana use is very much a Western thing as it is illegal throughout most of Asia and historically has never been much of a thing in Africa. Not even the otherwise progressive EU is consistent. India is one of the few nations with a long history of use where is it illegal but is tolerated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_country

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan, please STOP being so primitive, the WORLD over has seen restaurants/bars EASILY survive smoking bans, Japan would be no different & a LOT better!

Let GAIATSU do what your too scared to do, ie. do whats right, please USE the Olympics.

And also raise smokes to Y1000 a pack for your damned tax revenue!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I feel irritated when I see people blowing their smoke all over everyone and I know that a lot of bans on smokers is because of their obnoxious and inconsiderate behavior outside. It is OUR own fault. Well, not mine. I have always believed in going outside and not blowing my smoke on other people.

One day I was in a smoking area and an obnoxious ojisan looked at me and said, "It is really difficult to find a smoking area, isn't it?" I agreed. Then he said, "This is all because of western culture. Before we could smoke where we wanted to." This really irritated me and I told him, "No, that is NOT the reason. The reason is because people like you, smoked wherever you wanted and ignored the feelings of everyone else." His response was to make that irritating sound ojisans make when they click their tongue when they are perturbed and to walk away saying, "Sokana?"

Be that as it may, I do think that Japan is getting a bit ridiculous with its smoking laws. We are customers as well. We are taxpayers. There needs to be more smoking areas for us as well. My family went with another family to Disneyland last year. The father and I both smoke. There were only TWO places that we could smoke. It was very, very irritating. I remember he grumbled something that I didn't want to hear. "Last time, I ever come here."

So, in closing. Hey, we are customers, too and the first question that any smokers asks now is, "Where is the smoking area?" If there are too few, then we don't go back. That means we don't spend money there also. If you are going to sell tobacco then give us a little room to move.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@zurocronium - Um, gee thanks for that. But is not true for all of us. Some of us a long time ago stopped doing that. No, I would not smoke on an airplane and even when I am in a restaurant that allows smoking, I go outside and do it where nobody will breathe it, away from the sidewalk or where people pass. There are quite a few of us out there, but as is always it is the jerks that stand out. I do think your opinion is partly true but also not true. Frankly I resent such an arrogant comment about us. You are painting with a very large and unfair brush there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How many deaths are enough to make them change the law and the selfish culture?

It's hardly selfish if the people who die choose to smoke and are well aware of the health costs.

I don't smoke and I hate the smell of smoke. But I have no problem with other people smoking if bars and restaurants are well ventilated.

There is no evidence that second-hand smoke is harmful, even though many interested groups will tell you that there is. The American Cancer society even has this on their website:

Secondhand smoke (SHS) has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. There’s no safe level of exposure for secondhand smoke (SHS).

Which is blatantly unscientific and wrong.

Bring on the nanny state.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

2020hingsights.

Even if it doesn't cause heath issues, which I'm certain it does, even if only asthma, it stinks, are you, or the smokers going to pay my dry cleaning bill?

Its a sensitive area as I have had several relatives pass away from smoking related disease.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

2020hindsights:

Bring on the nanny state.

We end up with nanny state solutions because smokers insist on acting like babies.

The American Cancer Society's statement that secondhand smoke has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale is not unscientific. It's common sense, unless you believe that smoke is magically cleaned and filtered in smokers' lungs, or that smoke drifting off the end of a cigarette is different from that inhaled by suckers.

Now you could argue that smoke itself is harmless, but that would really be unscientific.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I know a lot of you have expressed your belief that smokers are insensitive to you. But what a lot of you do not understand is that it is not being insensitive to you, as much as not understanding who badly it stinks. We smokers can not smell it until we quit, then we get really angry when we smell it. It is often said that ex-smokers are the harshest people towards smokers. I don't really know why. I remember quitting a long time ago and really getting angry at people who smoked around me. Before that, I had no idea at all it stunk and I wondered what the heck people were complaining about. There are many of us out there who are not incentive towards you, though. If you don't smell it, it might mean that we are being careful of how you feel and smoking where you can not smell it. Remember, not all of are in the dark about how bad it stinks. There are many who are, but they are not doing it, just because they are insensitive to you. They just don't know.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Alan - Calling us babies is rude. Many smokers just don't understand that it stinks that bad. A lot of smokers think that people who don't smoke are acting like babies because our smoking areas are becoming non-existant. That hardly seems fair to us. There should be places that WE can go and smoke. And you also have that right not to breathe it. Most smokers don't understand because they can not smell it. And how is it possible that WE are acting like babies? Smoking areas are extremely limited now. I don't see smokers out there name calling and looking down there noses. We are just dealing with it.

Oh, by the way, my last posted said . . .

There are many of us out there who are not incentive towards you, though.

It was supposed to say. . .

There are many of us out there who are not insensitive towards you, though.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@sandiegoluv

Calling us babies is rude. Many smokers just don't understand that it stinks that bad.

Until very recently, tobacco suckers were free to smoke on planes, trains, in restaurants, outdoors, indoors, anywhere they liked. Now they're being subjected to a little discipline and forced to consider the rights of non-smokers, so they either whine and complain or break the rules and smoke anyway. That sounds pretty close to the definition of baby-like behavior to me.

What kind of smoking area do you want? Are you aware that it's virtually impossible to contain tobacco smoke effectively, especially in a crowded Japanese city? In office and apartment buildings, smoke seeps through ventilators, doors and windows. If one person in one room smokes, everybody smokes. The person who goes into that room to clean also smokes by stirring up and inhaling particles left on furniture, carpets and drapes.

I find it hard to believe that in 2017 any smoker can be unaware that their habit causes an offensive stink and actually damages the health of those around them. Every time you smokers exhale you are harming someone. I don't know how you can live with your conscience.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Alan - Tobacco suckers? Would it be possible for you to just talk instead of being insulting? Maybe, the reason that you think that we are insensitive is because of your callous way of communication...

Until very recently, tobacco suckers were free to smoke on planes, trains, in restaurants, outdoors, indoors, anywhere they liked.

It is anything but just recent. Smoking has not been allowed on planes in more than 25 years. On trains? I can't even remember a time when we were allowed to smoke on trains. In restaurants, this is an ongoing battle and one that I side with the non-smokers on. Waiters, waitresses and other staff should never, ever, ever have to deal with smokers. Outdoors? Um, places are also extremely limited and have been for the past ten years. Indoors? Well, that depends on where, doesn't it? Hmmmmm.

Now they're being subjected to a little discipline

Um, it is NOT a little discipline. It is a big one. There are too few places provided for us. Go to Disneyland. There are two extremely small rooms for the whole park. Go to any shopping center here, rooms are too few to be found and a major hassle to locate.

they either whine and complain or break the rules and smoke anyway.

Whine? Ah, I see. More condescension. Complain? Yes, of course. For reasons that I stated above. We smoke. We should have locations that we are allowed to smoke at that is away from non-smokers. As for breaking the rules, maybe if there were more places for us to smoke, away from you guys, there would be no need to break the rules.

consider the rights of non-smokers

Oh, we should consider your rights, while you call use babies and say that we are whining, while the areas for us to smoke in are too far and few between? We should consider YOUR rights, while you trample of ours and go to far and allowing us places to smoke? I should have a right to smoke just as much as you have right not to smoke. While I appreciate your right to smoke, and this is one of the big problems here, you do not appreciate my right to smoke. We both have rights. The one that is being trampled on his my right to smoke.

The only thing that we ask for is a place to smoke away from non-smokers. Provide a space in the back or side of buildings to smoke. I like most smokers do not have a problem with smoking outside.

I find it hard to believe that in 2017 any smoker can be unaware that their habit causes an offensive stink

Believe it. Any smoker will tell you the same thing. We can not smell it. You know how you can tell that you are talking to a smoker because of the smell? Well, smokers can't. This is why a lot of young people who steal their mama's smokes, don't get busted by their parents. The mother smokes so she can't smell it on her teenager. But a non-smoking parent knows immediately that her kids have smoked.

For someone who talks about smokers being insensitive to non-smokers, you are surprisingly so in the opposite. Your lack of understanding of what a smoker can sense and understand is quite limited.

Every time you smokers exhale you are harming someone. I don't know how you can live with your conscience.

A bit over dramatic here, aren't we? Live with my conscience? LOL I can easily do so because I don't blow my smoke on anyone. I smoke outside. When I smoke, I smoke away from others. No, every time I exhale I am not harming someone. I am harming myself and it is my right as it should be. You might try to be a little nicer and try some reasoning and less emotion. You would probably get a better attitude from whoever is so rude to you when they smoke.

I don't really know of any smokers who are whiners. I will hold my tongue there so as not to have my post taken off by the moderator.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yeah, so many non smokers whine about smokers, while claiming smokers whine. It's quite ironic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@sandiegoluv

because I don't blow my smoke on anyone. I smoke outside. When I smoke, I smoke away from other

How do you know? You just admitted that you've destroyed your sense of smell. I can smell you a block away, and the thing about smoke is, if you can smell it, it's harming you. Some people smoke through their whole life and live to be 90. Others get cancer from their first puff. It's a highly unpredictable risk. Who are you to inflict that risk on others? Do you expect non-smokers to feel sympathy for the loss of your sense of smell? Who did that to you?

What does "away from other people" mean to a smoker? In my experience, it means clustered around entrances to buildings, etc., so everyone has to run a gauntlet of stink to get in or out.

The ban on smoking on planes, trains, etc., is relatively recent. I'm old enough to have spent thousands of hours confined in various vehicles and offices with chain-smoking addicts. I live in fear of the long-term effects of that.

Smokers are not some underprivileged minority suffering discrimination. They are people selfishly and recklessly engaging in dangerous anantisocial behavior due to their addiction.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whoops. I made a mistake there. Let me rectify it here. Moderator, would you be so kind as to delete my last post. Thank you.

@Strangerland - Yep, it is extremely ironic!

@Alan - Are you an ex-smoker? You sure sound like one. Not that that is a bad thing, congratulations if you are. But it is quite noticeable.

How do you know? You just admitted that you've destroyed your sense of smell.

Oh and let's not forget this one.

Do you expect non-smokers to feel sympathy for the loss of your sense of smell? Who did that to you?

Who asked for sympathy for the loss of the sense of smell, and who said they lost their sense of smell. Not me. I didn't t say anything of the sort. I said, WE can not smell the smoke. I have a great sense of smell. I can smell when my wife makes bell peppers from the other side of the house, of which I detest. Actually, I do have a great sense of smell and my wife is often surprised when she breaks out chocolate or chicken of which I love very much. (Sorry for my weak attempt at humor there.)

I can smell you a block away

No, you can not smell me a block away. Seriously, let's talk in the literal sense, not in exaggerations. As is this next line as well.

Who are you to inflict that risk on others?

I like many smokers do not do that. You are painting with a huge brush. I know many smokers who go out of their way to smoke in places that will not be smelled by people like you. Last thing anyone smoker wants is someone like you going off on them for trying to relax with a smoke.

As I have stated before, if a smoker blows smoke in your face or anywhere near you, he is a jerk, plain and simple and you do not have to put up with that, and to be ridiculously honest, nobody here, certainly not me, is asking you to ever do so. In fact, get a squirt gun and douse the person who does that to you.

What does "away from other people" mean to a smoker? In my experience, it means clustered around entrances to buildings, etc., so everyone has to run a gauntlet of stink to get in or out.

Please read again. I said away from you guys. At the side of a building or in the back or a building. Not the front. The front is a stupid place to have a smoking area. But don't blame the smokers for that. That was most likely done by someone stupid who just thought that getting it out of the building was the first and only priority, but it is not.

The ban on smoking on planes, trains, etc., is relatively recent. I'm old enough to have spent thousands of hours confined in various vehicles and offices with chain-smoking addicts. I live in fear of the long-term effects of that.

Dude, what third world country are you in? I assumed you were in Japan, I guess not.I am actually old enough to remember when you could smoke on planes which was up until around the mid to late 1980's when I took a Northworst flight to come here in the Army. But it stopped right after that. Smoking has not been allowed on trains since before I came here, about 30 years ago. Offices in Japan? I seriously doubt that. That was stopped for the most part in the mid 90's. In vehicles? Surely not public transportation in the west or in Japan either. Was that a private vehicle that was not yours? Well, if it is their vehicle they should be able to do what they want in it. The selfish person is the one riding in it, telling someone not to smoke. You should have gotten a ride from someone else.

Smokers are not some underprivileged minority suffering discrimination.

Nobody said we were underprivileged minorities. But you make it sound like non-smokers are, and that is hardly the case at all. I don't get the exaggerations that you keep coming out with. But now that I think about it, yeah we are the minority suffering discrimination now. That can not be denied.

They are people selfishly and recklessly engaging in dangerous anantisocial behavior due to their addiction.

No, we are not selfish, we have been pushed out 99.9%, by people who WE consider going WAY overboard! Cutting the smoking areas to the extreme is selfish and inconveniencing a large group of people. As for engaging in antisocial behavior, that is completely wrong. We are quite social with each other. We ask each other for lights, we get up when someone wants to sit down. We even talk to each other sometimes. (Sorry another weak attempt at humor.)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Increase the price to ¥1000/packet and ban smoking from all public places.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

1000/packet will stop a lot, 2000-2500 would be better.

My folks used to be heavy smokers, watched them trying to give it up(various methods) for 10years before they went Cold Turkey and suceeded.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cold turkey is the only way to quit. It's actually surprisingly easy, once one is fully committed to quitting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@sandiegoluv

I assumed you were in Japan, I guess not.

I've lived in Japan off and on since 1971. When I first went there smoking was allowed on all carriages on all long-distance trains, and on all planes. It wasn't allowed on suburban trains, but it was on platforms. There were spherical steel ashtrays all over the streets in Tokyo where smokers would drop lighted butts, creating bonfires that smoldered all day. People smoked on crowded streets and in stations. When they weren't sucking on their cigarettes, they used to hold them away from their bodies as they walked. I got burned several times that way. The pace of improvement in Japan has been very slow compared with other developed countries (except Austria in my experience).

I'm an ex-smoker in the sense that I no longer tolerate smoking around me. But I've never smoked of my own free will. Thanks for asking. Why don't you become an ex-smoker? You know you want to.

I'm intrigued by your selectively disabled sense of smell. Smokers I've known have complained of a generalized dulling of the sense of smell (and taste). Yes, I can really smell you a block away, and I can also smell you an hour after you've smoked from the lingering stink on your clothes. Quit smoking for a while and you will too.

get a squirt gun and douse the person who does that to you.

I think that's against the law, whereas blowing toxic carcinogenic smoke on someone is perfectly legal.

we are the minority suffering discrimination now

LOL! You were complaining that a children's theme park failed to provide sufficient space for you to indulge your addiction. That's a bit entitled, isn't it?

By "antisocial" I meant offensive or menacing to general society, rather than reclusive or withdrawn. But I'm sure you knew that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

how is it possible that WE are acting like babies?

Looking back up the thread... you go to Disneyland with your family, and instead of enjoying the time with them you complain about the lack of smoking areas? (only TWO places that we could smoke. It was very, very irritating) Imagine how irritating it would be for the other grown-ups in the party, with the two of you disappearing regularly to shoot up I mean enjoy a ciggie and leaving them to look after the kids alone. So instead of spending time with your kids, taking them on rides, taking pictures of them with the characters, you choose to spend your time shut up in an enclosed space away from them? And when you've finished sucking on burning fermented leaves, do you run straight out to be with the kids again? If so you're exposing them to smoke just the same, as it remains on your breath for at least half an hour after you've stubbed out the coffin nail, and if you're anywhere near them you are blowing smoke in their faces. Even if you can't smell it.

 if a smoker blows smoke in your face or anywhere near you, he is a jerk, plain and simple .... get a squirt gun and douse the person who does that to you.

Do your kids carry squirt guns?

you can not smell me a block away

You'd be surprised. Really.

Cutting the smoking areas to the extreme is selfish and inconveniencing a large group of people.

Sectioning off areas that everyone should be able to use and restricting their use to addicts is selfish. Demanding that such areas be set aside for your exclusive use is selfish. Leaving your wife alone to cope with the kids in Disneyland while you indulge your addiction is selfish. Choosing to spend time with a ciggie in preference to spending time with your kids is selfish.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sandie.

Don't agree often but good on you trying to quit.

Not a rabid anti-smoker but suffered from my parents habit. Visitors can smoke in my place(got ashtray) many decide not to as I don't.

Heck I burn incense(to relax) which can be offensive and smelled on me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

that little rude, emotional outburst. Try a little tact

Sorry, but after losing three important people to smoking I do get a bit emotional when smokers try to justify their addiction and suggest that it's the non-smokers who are being selfish. Tact tends to be in short supply when the subject under discussion is something that is literally lethal, and totally avoidable.

As for quitting, my daughter asked me to yesterday...she is worried about my health and for that reason alone I decided to quit smoking

Good on her, and good on you for listening. I tried everything with my parents and brother, from asking please nicely, to begging, to crying to nagging to developing asthma (not really something I tried, it just happened fro the second-hand smoke), nothing worked. Hopefully you'll live to enjoy your daughter's wedding and your grandkids, something neither of my parents were able to do.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sandiegoluv

I'll give you some much needed advice. Just stop, quit. That's right just quit, no substitutes, or patches, just mentally decide to quit and stop. Not tomorrow but now, right away. Flush the packet down the toilet.

It will be hell, but you know what they say, "when you're going through hell, just keep going!"

I smoked, eventually two packs a day for about 40 years and then I woke up on the 13th October 2013 and decided that was it. I've hung there every single day and that's about 44 months. I put the money I saved into a large empty tin, and I still do that and buy gifts for myself or my wife with it, or take her out for a nice meal knowing my quit smoking is paying for it.

Mentally, I still smoke those two packs a day but when I smell others smoking that encourages me on. My lungs are much improved and feel better for it. But I put on an extra 20 lbs even though I actually eat less.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Alan - In that first paragraph you talked about how things were sooooooo long ago. Times have greatly changed. It is not that way at all now. It is really hard to find a place where nobody will come in contact with our stinky habit that is authorized for smoking. Anyway, it is not entitled to want to have a place to smoke besides two very small rooms. We are customers as well and there are a great number of us as well. Outside of certain "lands" would be just fine. Not in the densely populated area of the park, of course.

As for my selective disabled smell, it was a joke. I detest bell peppers, but love chicken and chocolate. It was an attempt to defuse instead of ignite, no pun intended. Dude, I prefer honest dialogue, not exaggerations. Realistic and literal as opposed to overblown and emotional. You can not smell me from a block away, unless, A) the block is extremely short, three to four or even five meters. B) unless you are a dog. I am not insulting you, I just don't think that dogs have that ability to use computers just yet. (Maybe another failed attempt at humor.) So, no you can't. It is humanly, impossible. So, let's move past that and stay in realistic terms, please.

Oh, and I did quit smoking for a while, and I could smell it on people. But not that far, either. I hated the smell myself, which is what I explained earlier, you must have not read. But I know what non-smokers feel, and that is why I am careful about my stinky little habit.

The squirt gun. . . Another failed attempt at humor. But I never said it was legal. I said, you could.

blowing toxic carcinogenic smoke on someone is perfectly legal.

Naturally that should be illegal. I have never stated otherwise. As for antisocial being what you think it is. . . That is hardly the case. We are not offensive nor menacing. That is just how YOU see us.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Readers, once again, some of you are just going around in circles. Please take a break from posting on this thread.

As for quitting, my daughter asked me to yesterday. Not because I have been selfish or insensitive to her, but becuase she is worried about my health and for that reason alone I decided to quit smoking tomorrow.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and for that reason alone I decided to quit smoking tomorrow

Yeah, tomorrow, next week, next year, whenever. I've got more respect for folks who say NOW.

I wonder if it's ok for me to break wind (loudly and continuously) in restaurants.

There's a local restaurant which serves great noodles. Love the food, but one day I just got sick and tired of the smoke. A lot of the female customers smoked too. Hell, I even saw the waiter light up at the counter!!!!! Haven't been back for over a year now. They've lost some customers for good.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I still do not believe Japan needs to "sell out" its culture just to host a fluff 2 week event since when does culture have anything to do with a non-smokers right to clean air without the risk health problems and cost associated with smoking.. I get tired of the people playing the BS "culture card" when its got nothing to do with culture and everything to do with recalcitrant pride.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yesterday The WTO rule that Countries have the souviren right to allow plan packaging on Tobacco produces. I predict the IOC will pressure the Government on Indoor smoking and plan packaging in return allowing for events and venues to be held outside of Tokyo. Why I think this is the IOC have had plenty of bad PR since their back down on allowing Russian drug cheats into Rio. IOC are desperate for good PR and this subject is made for them to regain some international credibility in dealing with future demands with host cities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Alan

The American Cancer Society's statement that secondhand smoke has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale is not unscientific.

That is not what I am saying is unscientific. They say that:

There’s no safe level of exposure for secondhand smoke.

That is what is unscientific. Toxicity is always associated with a dose. What they are saying, is that a single atom of secondhand smoke will harm you, which is ridiculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites