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Do As Tokyo Does Everybody Here Smokes
(Entered Jun. 28, 2007)
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Way back in university when I was studying Japanese, my teacher invited a guest speaker to come talk to our class about what it was like living in Japan. I forget what job he did when he was there, and most of whatever else he talked about, but one thing he said is still clear in my mind: 'Everybody in Japan smokes'. While something of an exageration, it seems true enough at times, especially when you pass by big, smoking depots on the streets and see large crowds polluting the air.

smoking their lives away

I hate cigarettes with every fiber of my being. My absolute favourite thing here in Tokyo, is being stuck behind some guy (90% of the time the perpetrator is male) who's smoking while walking down the street. No respect at all! Second hand smoke that I'm being forced to inhale is no different than a person physically attacking me. If some guy tried to stab me with a knife on the street, the police would arrest him. Why should it be different in the case of second hand smoke?
For inconsiderate people like this, it would be nice to have some invention that automatically directs all second hand smoke back into their lungs, and keeps it there. I wonder if that would help smokers to quit?

inconsiderate smoker

With the massive Japan Tabacco running the show, no one is likely to be quitting soon. However, in an effort to clean up it's image, JT has recently been putting up these 'good smoking manners' posters all over the place. There are about 70 in total. But does it really mean anything? Here in Japan where every blank surface is used as a billboard, people pay as much attention to poster advertisements as they do to junk mail.

JT smoking manners

Japan is still light-years behind other countries, like Canada, when it comes to rules prohibiting smoking in public places. Over here, there are still smoking cars on some trains, and many restaurants, bars and cafes don't even have different areas for smokers and non-smokers! Time for non smokers in Japan to stand up for their rights!



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