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Anti-tobacco policy


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Culturally speaking, Japan is by most aspects the opposite of France and this also goes for the anti-tobacco policy. In France, smoking is forbidden in inside areas but allowed outside, whereas Japan does it almost the opposite way.

I say "almost" because not all outside areas are non-smoking, and not all inside areas are smoking areas. For instance, it is forbidden to smoke in places such as shops, librairies, public offices etc. On the other hand, most bars and restaurants allow it and do not even have separated areas.

Outside however, it's just about the opposite and this symbol is often displayed on the sidewalks:

It of course indicates that the sidewalk is non-smoking. I think most of them are, although I'm not completely sure about that.

Anyway, apart from the cultural differences, I don't really understand the reason behind that system. Indeed as a non-smoker, it is much easier for me to avoid other people's smoke outside than in restaurants. So why not just do the opposite, allowing people to smoke outside but not in restaurants? It just seems to make more sense that way.

Besides, the way Japan leads their anti-tobacco campaign is a little weird to say the least. While in France and many other countries, the dangers of smoking are clearly pointed out through striking messages and sometimes shocking pictures, here they insist on the nuisance towards non-smokers. Which is not a non-sense in theory, but they do it through illustrations that are completely ineffective. At least they are funny and definitely popular among foreigners, although I suspect that it wasn't the intended purpose. Here are some samples, enjoy:

Category: Everyday life

4 comment(s)

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By Nico on 09/28/2008 at 15:02:00

salut Hervé !

Je suis bien content du retour des commentaires, et j'en profite sur ce sujet qui me tient à coeur : le tabagisme passif...

C'est une publicité risible pour un Français, mais si elle suffit à marcher là-bas, et bien tant mieux. Pas la peine d'en faire plus. Sinon, effectivement, il faudra peut-être exporter un ou deux de nos publicitaires. Ca ne fera pas de mal à notre balance commerciale ^^


By Tarto on 09/29/2008 at 05:57:46

Salut Nico

Les Japonais respectent bien les interdictions de fumer, mais je crois que c'est complètement lié à leur civisme et pas du tout à l'efficacité de ces campagnes, que je soupçonne d'ailleurs d'être destinées aux étrangers.

Par contre dans les restos, tu dois parfois te taper des vieilles odeurs de clope vu qu'il n'y a pas d'interdiction. Ca dépend des restos bien sûr, mais dans le lot les izakayas sont évidemment les endroits les plus propices au tabagisme passif. Car le salaryman bourré, clope au bec devant son verre de shochu, est à mille lieues des "my smoke is enveloping that man over there" et autres considérations du même genre...

By Mark on 09/29/2008 at 10:39:03

well... the non-smoking areas are typically outside major train stations and are typically the crowdiest places during the morning and evening commute. That being said, i think your right in that it's banned cause of the nuisance it cause others, not typically non-smokers. I relate this to the idea in japan that one shouldn't be walking and eating at the same time as you can cause issues to other people if you spill your drink or food on them.
Following this logic though we should see umbrellas getting banned too soon... The amount of eye injuries that pop up in japan durign rainy season is ridiculous.

By Tarto on 09/30/2008 at 10:47:19

No wonder why, considering the size of the umbrellas (parachute size) Japanese people use to protect themselves against "torrential rains" (2~3 raindrops).

Btw, you have to join the third go-cart session. You know how bad I want to kick your ass hehe!

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