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『New Policy』Japan Bans Smoking Inside Restaurants and Bars,not include E-cigarettes

Only recently we reported that the relatively high smoking rates in Japan, were partly attributed to the countrys non-comprehensive smoke-free laws. Finally things are set to change, and smoking inside restaurants and bars has been banned as of April 1st.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo had recently reported that Japans tobacco control policies were not working. Two studies were conducted as part of the Waterloo-based International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC) and involved a survey of 3,800 smokers in Japan.

Led by Genevieve Sansone of ITC, one of the studies looked into local smoking restrictions. This research found that the partial smoke-free laws in the country are leading to higher exposure rates to second-hand smoke in workplaces, restaurants, and bars, when compared to countries where clearer no smoking policies have been set in place.

The Japanese government has been very slow to develop and implement proven FCTC policies,said Yumiko Mochizuki, a researcher at the Japan Cancer Society and ITC member. These two studies show that Japan must do much more to combat smoking, the number one preventable cause of death in our country, which kills 160,000 smokers a year and over 15,000 non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

E-cigarettes are exempt from the ban

In the letter, the AVCA is also urging New Zealands delegates to the WHO meeting to deplore the FCTCs policy to make the sessions closed-door, unaccountable and unreported. By supporting these largely secret but critical global meetings, New Zealand ends up aiding and abetting those with vested interests internationally, rather than representing and supporting its citizens who have positively chosen to switch from deadly smoking to safer alternatives,explained Loucas.

Designated smoking rooms allowed

The health ministrys website has also pointed out that businesses may set up designated smoking rooms, where eating and drinking are not allowed, or separate rooms where smoking is allowed during eating and drinking. Staff members younger than 19 years will not be allowed to serve in smoking areas.

After an initial warning, violators caught smoking could face fines of up to $2,780. While businesses allowing smoking in non-designated areas could face fines up to $4,600. Perhaps this is still a small step, but setting a regulation like this, it will give more power to the manager to ask customers not to smoke in the restaurant,said Okinawa prefectural government spokeswoman Naoko Nagahama.

Vapesourcing Opinion:

This is a positive signal. The Japanese Ministry of Health believes that there is no second-hand smoke in e-cigarettes, and it has no effect on people around them.

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