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Butt out

34 Comments

A sign in Tokyo's Minato Ward, which is cracking down on public smoking.

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hokkaidoguy...I do. And I started my own Facebook page about nonsmoking restaurants & cafes in my own local part of Tokyo Ryogoku. Anyone can do this. Why the sanctimonious slam?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Dave Doyle

tabacco bans are about are getting people used to being law compliant, hearding people in whatever direction a government wants

Interesting conspiracy theory. But the real conspiracy is between the government and the tobacco industry. The government allows the tobacco industry to sell deadly and highly addictive products. In return the government gets huge tax revenues (and Japan Tobacco dividends in Japan's case) while saving huge amounts by not providing pensions and healthcare to all the smokers who die around retirement age. And all the time the government can wear the white hat by running ineffective anti-smoking campaigns.

So who are the sheep? Who's getting fleeced and sent off to die like sacrificial lambs?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Wikipedia entry on Japan Tobacco is a very interesting read for smokers, anti-smokers and those in between:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Tobacco

Amongst many other fascinating facts, it wasn't until January 20, 2010 that there was a court ruling that there was a link between smoking and lung cancer and respiratory illnesses. The judge, in his wisdom stated that smoking may be addictive.

Prior to that, Judge Kikuo Asaka stated that there was no causal link between smoking habits and diseases. He also denied that nicotine was highly addictive.

In spite of non-smoking trends, Japan Tobacco seems to doing very well for itself.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is a very divisive issue. It is also a means of focusing people's attention away from what a government is doing. It can be rolled out peacemeal as needed. It is never about tabacco or where it is used, be it private or public. If tabacco is such an evil on society stop any and all production and remove it from sale. Simple. What tabacco bans are about are getting people used to being law compliant, hearding people in whatever direction a government wants. People police each other, those that dont smoke are watching out for those that do. These are controls put into place to turn people into sheep. Nothing else. They are about removing the right to free choice from society. Europe and the USA are now crippled by PCism, the right to express your opinions have been removed. Wake up before it is to late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland, I'm not fooling anybody. Japanese signs are so ineffective. They need revamp all over in Japan. They need signs that are simpler and easier to recognize. Maybe they need to hire some professionals for this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because it masks the smell of exhaust fumes

In the past few decades, car and fuel manufacturers have made enormous progress toward reducing exhaust fumes, thanks to catalytic converters, idle-stop systems, unleaded fuel, hybrids, EVs, etc. The air in Tokyo is incomparably cleaner that it was in in the 1970s.

What have cigarette manufacturers done over the same period to make their products safer for innocent by-standers? Zero.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's too crowded in Tokyo, but Japan is a lot bigger than Tokyo and in most of the country it's not too crowded at all.

Strangerland -- which is why the no-smoking regulations are done on a local/municipality basis. So what is your point?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Chinese and Korean mmigrants and tourists can read Japanese or English.

Not usually.

The sign looks cluttering with 4 languages.

Functionality over form.

Look, you aren't fooling us. With your constant and regular rants about the Koreans and Chinese, this diatribe you are going on about with this sign is very clearly born of your hatred of the people of these two countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The militant anti-smoker can be as obnoxious as the guy who puffs away in a confined space oblivious to the discomfort he is causing.

False comparison. Words do not cause cancer, toxic chemicals, some 5000 of them, from second hand smoke kills people.

Smokers do not want to care about this as all they care about is getting their fix, like any other junkie, but when you smoke on a street you pollute the air downwind. Kids in Japan all have traces of second hand smoke in their blood due to you selfish smokers. All of them, not just kids who have parents who smoke. That is what your smoking is public is contributing to public health, giving cancer to kids who are nearby while you slowly commit suicide with tobacco.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ethnic Chinese and Koreans make up the majority of immigrants (Brazil being third) and the majority of tourists

Chinese and Korean mmigrants and tourists can read Japanese or English. The sign looks cluttering with 4 languages.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The signs don't work if the smokers dont' bother to read, cyclists smoking while driving a bicycle and the worst part is in areas such as buildings or hotels, the smokers are allowed to smoke right in the front door where the second hand smoke comes into the buildings or one has no choice but to pass right on through and exposed to the second hand smoke which is what the ban is intended to prevent. Put a designated area away from the entrances for at least a wide area around the facilities and no smoking ban needs to be enforced or else why even bother.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hokkaidoguy,

Thank you for the voice of reason.

Because it masks the smell of exhaust fumes, deep-fryer oil, BBQ exhaust and other wonderful smells you're bombarded with on a daily basis that are all a part of city life.

The militant anti-smoker can be as obnoxious as the guy who puffs away in a confined space oblivious to the discomfort he is causing.

They are both extremes.

Personally, I can tolerate a moderate amount of tobacco smoke much more easily than heavy perfume. A little perfume can be very nice, but a gang of females who smell like they have marinated in it has me reaching for my asthma inhaler.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I used to believe that smoking was matter of personal choice. Now I consider it equivalent to urinating in public.

I could care less about what peope choose to do with their lives. They want to smoke cancer sticks, it is their lungs not mine. I just don't want smoke around me or my family or in my house.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Alternately, you can go find a non smoking establishment."

Good luck with that one. heck, even my local Gusto "family restaurant" is all-smoking weekdays.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So why should I have to tolerate my clothes smelling like smoke?

Because it masks the smell of exhaust fumes, deep-fryer oil, BBQ exhaust and other wonderful smells you're bombarded with on a daily basis that are all a part of city life.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If you smell someone's second-hand smoke, it's already done you harm. The effect of a single exposure may be miniscule, but the harm is cumulative. Smoking on the street is selfish and antisocial. Smoking at home in a high-density city like Tokyo also exposes your neighbors to the harmful effects of this filthy habit. And people who smoke around children at home or in cars are the worst of all.

Congratulations to Minato Ward for taking a stand. Shame on the Japanese government for pushing this vile, deadly drug through Japan Tobacco.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@BertieWooster: Any odor, besides fresh-baked cookies, that a person exudes which is strong enough to smell in the open air 10 to 20 meters away is an inconvenience. I can't stand walking down the same street when I'm behind a smoker, and have to walk through his/her puffs of smoke. Would it be ok for me to walk up and spray someone with a bottle of cologne, saying, "Here, now you can smell like this for the next few hours"? No, of course not. So why should I have to tolerate my clothes smelling like smoke?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Patricia Yarrow

. In a restaurant, ask them not to smoke.

Alternately, you can go find a non smoking establishment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When I used to visit Paris longer ago than I cared to remember, one of the things I loved was the aroma of Disque Bleu and Gaulois cigarettes. I didn't smoke then, and I don't smoke now, but it was part of the atmosphere.

I'm not writing this to support tobacco smoking, and completely agree that indoor smoking should be confined to smoking booths, but I don't see that smoking outside inconveniences anybody.

Or maybe I'm spoiled, living in the relatively clean air of Okinawa.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Finally!!! I just hope that the cops are there to hand out tickets otherwise this is just another waste of paper and another eyesore to be reminded of just how stupid and selfish some people can be with their 'deadly habit'.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smoking on the streets isn't a big deal

On the crowded sidewalks of downtown Osaka in the morning it is difficult to escape the fumes of second hand smoke. Quite Gross! Any law without enforcement in Japan becomes a suggestion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are so many signs around Tokyo, so many 'onegais'. Do they really work? No. People still smoke on streets near my house with signs everywhere saying 'NO SMOKING while walking'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's too crowded in Japanese cities, especially Tokyo, to allow idiots smoking.

It's too crowded in Tokyo, but Japan is a lot bigger than Tokyo and in most of the country it's not too crowded at all.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Hope the pressure of the approaching 2020 Olympics will be the final nail on the rampant INDOOR smoking here that is the shame of Japan. Next: And no smoking on the streets, either, ya sods. It's too crowded in Japanese cities, especially Tokyo, to allow idiots smoking. Everyone, keep VOICING your displeasure to smokers. In a restaurant, ask them not to smoke. It's dangerous. On the streets, just say "Tobako wa dame deshoo." I really thing part of changing the public discourse on smoking is many many many smokers hear discontent from people around them. Shame works here. So, smart anti-smokers, do your best! Don't be silent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

enforced choices on people is not the way to go

Like being forced to breath in second-hand smoke and dodge flicked ash? I hate enforcement, too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I would say alcohol is more dangerous than tobacco and is responsible for more injuries and deaths than cigarettes.

Smoking outside should be a choice but manners and respect for others should be the primary factor, enforced choices on people is not the way to go, But, by the way I do not smoke and hate it but hate enforcement of things more

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

JeffLee just beat me to it. As he said, smoking on the streets isn't a big deal, indoors is a lot worse. Why is smoking banned on the streets ( OK, it's better if people don't smoke on crowded sidewalks ), but it's OK to smoke in RESTAURANTS??? Cripes!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Smoking on the streets isn't a big deal, indoors is a lot worse. Indoors, everyone shares the same air and can get lung disease as a result. Typical of Japan, though: the benign case is banned while the dangerous one is so often tolerated. Hello?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

tina:

No Korean or Chinese translation is necessary in sign

I agree, considering that the vast majority of selfish smokers here are Japanese. You know, the smokers who throw cigarette butts everywhere, smoke in enclosed spaces with children and basically who demand that every other person help pay for their medical treatment. People are entitled to suffer during their final years of life with breathing problems and lung cancer if they wish, but please don't drag others into this.

I'd give anything, including letting people smoke on the streets, if it meant I could enjoy my meal in peace in restaurants without having to breathe in obnoxious fumes. Being aware of the threats to one's health from smoking isn't a western thing. Hong Kong and Singapore are miles ahead. This needs to be publicized world-wide leading up to the Tokyo Olympics.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Well, the sign is doing about as good a job of 'cracking down' as any other enforcement agency does -- which is to say a sign cannot do anything to stop it if someone decides to disregard the message or law. I bet a wider angle shot would have caught someone puffing away within a few feet.

tinawatanabe: "No Korean or Chinese translation is necessary in sign. The English translation is enough. Where to draw line? I think it's impolite to people from other countries."

There is no official language in Japanese besides Japanese, Tina, so literally NONE of the other languages are necessary. But given that ethnic Chinese and Koreans make up the majority of immigrants (Brazil being third) and the majority of tourists, and Japan wants to be a more open and welcoming country, it stands to reason they should be on as many signs in metropolitain areas as possible. As for English, well, the 'universal language' and all...

So, yes, there are many very GOOD reasons why those languages should be on there. They only reason they should not would be hatred of those nations, so long as cost or inability to reproduce the languages in question are not factors.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No Korean or Chinese translation is necessary in sign. The English translation is enough. Where to draw line? I think it's impolite to people from other countries.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

I used to believe that smoking was matter of personal choice. Now I consider it equivalent to urinating in public.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yeah, but, there is no penalty for it nor is there anyone to enforce it, so it just another guideline. It costs you $2.000 if you g et caught flicking a ciggerette butt out a car window in Australia. This is because of the bushfire danger, of course. However, if Japan was to introduce serious penalties and give the police power to enforce the ban it would actually mean something.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Well done, a big step toward REAL considerations for others. I especially can't stand the sight of ignorant (or selfish) parents smoking while having their kids next to them.

Cigarette is the most dangerous commercially produced legally allowed product known to mankind. It doesn't just kill its users but those around them. Smokers do not want to admit it, but it's so additive that your chances of quitting smoking is next to single digit percentage, due to the fact that it doesn't kill you INSTANTLY.

Would love to see public smoking stamped out, with only dedicated areas for those who choose to do so since we're a free country after all. The right to choose, for better or worse.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

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