politics

Majority of governors back firmer anti-passive smoking steps: survey

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Governors who refused to take either side, such as those of Iwate and Nagano prefectures, said such measures should heed the opinions of farmers and restaurant operators, and differ among each business category.

I would love to see the full list of Gov.'s that did not respond or were against the proposal.

This is a BS excuse by the Gov's! This is the real reason, while not openly stated, these companies have a lot of clout.

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2013 was USD342 Billion, equal to 6% of the Gross National Income of Japan. The industry is a powerful force that does not fear the actions of smaller nation-states because their resources are often much larger. Larger economies have the opportunity to help the smaller allies face down this threat.

http://www.tobaccoatlas.org/country-data/japan/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

measures should heed the opinions of farmers

What the heck does passive smoking on the city streets have to do with the farmers? Are they talking about tobacco farmers? Tobacco farmers are nothing more than dope growers.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The worst thing about this is they allow minors to work in smoke filled establishments. If minors buying tobacco is illegal, WHY is it that they can work in smoke infested areas where they breath in second hand smoke?? 

Look, forget the smoking regulations. Just make a law that says that anyone under 20 cannot work in an environment where they can be subject to second hand smoke. That's it.  Do THAT and the number of smoke filled establishments will disappear IMMEDIATELY, because without minors working there many of these places would have a serious shortage of staff.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

JT changed the name of their flagship brand from "Mild Seven" to Mevius (pictured above) as a concession to the "anti-tobacco" folks to stop their product from being something not so destructive.

One other thing as well, JT KNOWS that changes are coming, and while they still fight behind the scenes to keep their profits up, the company itself is moving further and further away from tobacco and moving into food production. Not to mention as well, their advertising campaigns are focusing more and more on "green" issues.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

what is passive smoking? Is this some euphemism for second hand smoke?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

The western civilization is inseparable from witch hunt. I do not hear hysterical anti-smoking move in China and India or in other asian countries except Japan.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

The western civilization is inseparable from witch hunt. I do not hear hysterical anti-smoking move in China and India or in other asian countries except Japan.

Ever wonder why? It's because as a society matures over time it starts paying closer attention to health related issues and ways to improve the quality of life for it's population.

It's the more developed economies as well that focus on this issue and other social/health related one's as well.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I do not hear hysterical anti-smoking move in China and India or in other asian countries except Japan.

You hear it developed countries, where people are educated, and are supposed to know better. You don't hear in third-world countries like China or India because the people are less educated, and don't know better. Developed countries are still paying the price for the heavy smoking of their populations in previous generations, the cost of treating people with smoking-related illnesses is high. And if smoking is curtailed, future generations will not have to bear those costs, and can spend their healthcare money where it is better needed.

JT is one of Japan's larger companies, and is one-third state-owned. It has immense lobbying power. Why do you think current anti-smoking laws go largely unenforced, and punishments unheard of? Some of these governors could very well end up on JT's payroll when they retire from service, though most would be happier just to accept a few bags of ichi-man yen notes instead.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Dango-bong, yes.

The only trouble with Aly Ruston's plan is most smoke-filled izakaya employ university students part-time plus many restaurants have "non-smoking" areas (separated from the smoking areas by a sign) and the employer can always say the under-20-year-old is wokring there.

I wonder if restaurants, bars, and izakaya realize that nightly sales increase when smoking is banned. Maybe they don't want the extra money and/or work? 15-20% of Japanese smoke meaning 80% don't and a large percentage of non-smokers don't go to places that allow smoking.

And farmers. Why consider farmers? They work outside. In a field. By themselves. And most are over 70 years old. I wonder how many farmers complain about allowing smoking in a bar in Ginza.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The survey also showed that only two prefectures -- Kanagawa and Hyogo -- have their own ordinances to counter passive smoking.

Kanagawa supposedly has it's own ordinance, but there are still tons of restaurants here that allow smoking - not even separated between smoking/non-smoking, the whole restaurant is "smoking". Just try to find a Chinese restaurant here that is smoke free.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The only trouble with Aly Ruston's plan is most smoke-filled izakaya employ university students part-time plus many restaurants have "non-smoking" areas (separated from the smoking areas by a sign) and the employer can always say the under-20-year-old is wokring there.

Come on, that sound's like a little kid's excuse. Nobody can work in a non-smoking area. They'd have to go back and forth. But I don't like the plan anyway because it is a weak one. Just ban smoking and be done with it. They need to survey the people, not old geezer governors that undoubtedly smoke themselves and don't want to change the law because of that reason alone.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

one-third state-owned

wow! that fact really knocked me off my chair. so not only is this company shareholders amakuradi, but also our tax pays for their business?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The only trouble with Aly Ruston's plan is most smoke-filled izakaya employ university students part-time .

Borscht, they also employ ALOT of HS students. Believe me, I never go to western bars. I'm an izakaya nut. In addition to that, MANY 1st year uni students are under 20, so that will still cut into their recruitment. And NO establishment can afford that these days.

plus many restaurants have "non-smoking" areas (separated from the smoking areas by a sign) and the employer can always say the under-20-year-old is wokring there

Yes, but that's not what I said. What I said was make a law that says if there is smoking ANYWHERE in the establishment then minors cannot work there, because even if they do, there is no guarantee that they won't be exposed to the smoke anyway. So if there is smoking ANYWHERE inside, no one under 20 can be employed there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

 But I don't like the plan anyway because it is a weak one.

Not at all. If it goes into effect it'll get rid of smoking in ALOT of places, namely the chain restaurants and Izakayas which depend on minors doing baitos there.

Just ban smoking and be done with it. They need to survey the people, not old geezer governors that undoubtedly smoke themselves and don't want to change the law because of that reason alone.

I agree. But this is easier said than done. The tobacco lobby is ridiculously strong here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's the more developed economies as well that focus on this issue

Many less developed countries have much stricter smoking regulations than Japan, including almost all of central and south America.

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

Japan truly is an outlier when it comes to laws on tobacco.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Schopenhauer - you seem to be prepared to make up any ludicrous reasons to justify your opposition to a smoking ban. I normally disagree with your views but you argue them well and I respect you for posting them, but that was a poor post.

Gangs must be involved in anti-smoking campaigners. Got any evidence for that?

American prohibition was about banning alcohol outright. What is being proposed is that people don't smoke in indoor public areas. Completely different scenarios. Neither is this about raising cigarette prices - it's about people not smoking in restaurants, bars etc.

If you want to refer to history, read about some of the bans on public smoking introduced in other countries, which have all gone smoothly as far as I know.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Next up; ban vehicle emissions, alcohol, nuclear industry, fast foods and anything else that is harmful.

Or if that's too knee-jerk; how about smoking free establishments? Leaving smoking friendly establishments for those of us who have the audacity to enjoy a few vices before our winter comes.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Actually, if a non-smoking law isn't passed by the Olympics, it never will be. For the gov't the Olympics is justification for Everything (except banning whaling in non-Japanese waters).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think business owners should be free to decide whether they allow smoking indoors or not, and non-smokers should be free to avoid smoking establishments. Also, minors should not be allowed in smoking establishments. Simple as that. Why are total bans necessary? I don't get it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that the minimum age for staff in an establishment which sells alcohol is 20 years old?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you want to smoke outside, go for it. There's enough air circulation to ease those complaining about it. Indoors, ban it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that the minimum age for staff in an establishment which sells alcohol is 20 years old?

No, it's not, HS students often work as "hall staff" at izakaya, the only thing though is they can only work until 10PM. After they graduate HS (legally) until midnight.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Does anyone know which two prefectures did not respond?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you want to smoke outside, go for it. There's enough air circulation to ease those complaining about it. Indoors, ban it.

No thanks. Let's compromise; smoking and non smoking establishments. Everyone's a winner.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There is a big lobby all over the world against banning of smoking. Those who mint money out of tobacco failed to realise the importance of health of individuals. Everything is measured in terms of money and money is the yardstick for growth and development. I see in most of the countries, banning of smoking in public is only on paper. No one implements is seriously. Most of the politicians all over the world are corrupt and dishonest to the core. If they act with honesty, tobacco would have gone out the globe long back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry wants to limit the smoking ban exemption to very small bars with a floor area of less than 30 square meters. The LDP wants to make the maximum area 150 square meters while ensuring that restaurants put up a sign saying smoking is allowed inside or there is a separate smoking area."

This is just daft, blanket ban and it will work. The developed world is awaiting Japan to join in/catch up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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