Survey shows discomfort with passive smoking on streets in Japan

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4th June 2023 – (Tokyo) A recent survey by Japan’s National Cancer Center has highlighted the need for greater efforts to prevent outdoor passive smoking in the country. The online survey conducted in April involved around 2,000 participants aged 20 and older, including 1,000 nonsmokers and 1,000 smokers.

The survey results showed that 77.2% of nonsmokers and 36.2% of smokers found passive smoking unpleasant. When asked about places where they felt discomfort due to second-hand smoke, 73.4% of nonsmokers said “on streets,” while 47.8% mentioned “restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, and other places where meals are mainly served.” Among smokers, 64.1% cited “on streets,” followed by 34.3% who mentioned “outdoor smoking areas.”

Japan implemented a law in April 2020 to prevent the spread of passive smoke by banning indoor smoking in restaurants, offices, and other public places. However, the National Cancer Center has stressed that further measures are needed to address smoking in outdoor locations.

Tomoyasu Hirano, who heads the center’s Division of Tobacco Policy Research, emphasized the need for people to refrain from smoking when in the presence of others. He also suggested the importance of specifying situations where it is preferable not to smoke, such as when children are nearby.

The survey results indicate that there is a growing awareness of the harmful effects of passive smoking on the streets of Japan. It is important for policymakers and the public alike to work together to create a smoke-free environment and reduce the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke. By implementing effective measures and promoting awareness of the dangers of smoking, we can protect public health and ensure a safer and healthier future for all.