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Over 80% of Japanese adults find tobacco smoke unpleasant: survey

Kyodo News logo Kyodo News 05/11/2022 共同通信社
© 共同通信社

Around 83 percent of people aged 18 and older in Japan find tobacco smoke unpleasant, a recent government survey found, highlighting widespread negative sentiment among the public toward secondhand smoke.

Although the government in April 2020 imposed a general ban on smoking in indoor spaces used by multiple people, nearly half of respondents answered they want stricter measures to stop secondhand smoking, according to the Cabinet Office survey released Friday.

Slightly over 56 percent said they find tobacco smoke to be "unpleasant," while around 26 percent answered it was "somewhat unpleasant." About 75 percent of men expressed these views, alongside roughly 89 percent of women.

The latest data cannot be compared directly with the last study conducted in 2019, which showed approximately 78 percent answered similarly, due to changes in the survey method.

Regarding steps the government should take on the issue, some 48 percent of respondents wanted strengthened measures against secondhand smoking. Of those, approximately 60 percent asked that outdoor smoking locations on the streets and parks, among other areas, be reduced.

In a multiple choice question about which smoking locations people disliked, most respondents, or about 70 percent, cited "on the street," followed by nearly 51 percent who picked restaurants.

About 40 percent said they find tobacco smoke to be unpleasant even in locations frequented by smokers, including alcohol-serving establishments such as bars and izakaya Japanese pubs, as well as designated outdoor smoking areas.

Under a revised health promotion law implemented in April 2020, people are banned from smoking indoors in principle at restaurants, offices, hotel lobbies and other places open to the general public.

The survey queried 3,000 adults between August and September online and via mail, with 1,556 of them giving valid responses.

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