Thursday, May 29, 2014

Will Miss #54 - harsh no smoking rules (reflection)

As I mentioned in the original post, Japan used to be a smoker's paradise, but they cracked down pretty hard and now you aren't even allowed to smoke in the streets. I figured that, while there are fewer smokers in the U.S., there are no restrictions on smoking outside so it would be worse here.

Since I'm living in California now, and smoking is not allowed in restaurants where I'm at, I don't have to worry about that at all. The question is whether or not I have to put up with it in the streets or other public spaces. Fortunately, generally speaking, it's uncommon to run across anyone smoking... except apparently around my no-smoking apartment complex at which people seem to smoke very far from my apartment, but I smell it anyway.

I think if I lived in a place where there were more smokers walking on the streets, I'd miss the restrictions in Japan against walking and smoking more. As it is, it seems the number of smokers in my area is low enough that it's not really an issue most of the time. 


  1. Even though smoking isn't allowed on the sidewalks, people still do it. It's especially pleasant when I walk by a smoker on a small sidewalk puffing great billows of smoke. I always cough rather loudly. I'm sure that's a bit rude but so is their disrespect for the law.

  2. After living in Calif for many years where smoking in restaurants has been banned it was a shock when we were in Europe (in 2000 and 2003) and found people smoking while we were eating out. Many places did not even have 'no smoking' areas where one could at least reduce the impact of smelling smoke while trying to eat. It was MOST unpleasant in 'civilized' countries like Switzerland or Austria. I wonder if it is still allowed?

  3. The UK has recently banned smoking inside. This also includes bus shelters apparently, but certain areas like these are already covered by other legislation.

    I preferred smoking outside when I smoked. A preference I picked up in the UK. Going to Japan I originally thought it was a good idea to have the little booths for smokers, but getting people outside means that it will only really affect those who choose to do it.

    And being kept indoors made me smell worse than I would've if I had been allowed to go "free range". It also allowed me to escape those damn salarymen who sit there "working so very hard" while making a real song and dance of every damn drag of the cigarette. Really really annoying.

    The impact of keeping it indoors also affects the non-smoking areas and staff, as the point was to get it outside and not affect those who HAD to be there working. A very passive-aggressive way of impacting someones habit by making it more complicated than it should be.

    1. Your comment led to my recalling two things. First, how badly my parents' cars used to smell because of their smoking inside them. The carpet and upholstery exuded the smell of smoking all the time!

      Second, the risk of second hand smoke to those who have to work/live with smokers. My wife's 80+ year old aunt was recently diagnosed with lung cancer even though she never smoked. We suspect this is due to her having lived with her husband smoking in the their home for 40+ years before he finally quit smoking. He, by the way, was treated for lung cancer and survived some 10+ years before he passed away from something else. So, it is not only a dirty habit but one that is harmful to one's health and that of others as well.

  4. Then again, it is almost impossible to find a Coffee Shop, Cafe or Restaurant in Tokyo that's smoke-free. I only know of Starbucks as being completely smoke-free. Because smoking on the street is banned save for a couple of spots, all the smokers go inside to feed their addiction.
    As a non-smoker, I saved a lot of money on eating out because I cannot eat where there's even a faint smell of smoke. Not that I missed a lot of good food (because Japanese food being delicious is just another myth that doesn't hold water once you've looked behind the curtain).
    I was shocked to find out that even in high-profile Sushi restaurants, smoking was allowed.

    1. I wasn't a frequent restaurant patron, so I had forgotten about this, but you make a good point. Starbucks always was an oasis in this regard, and smoking in restaurants was an issue!

  5. I wish those harsh Tokyo nonsmoking rules were in effect down here in Aichi. In Okazaki it is still a smokers paradise. Not only do smokers go at it on the streets, but even hide in nooks on train platforms and smoke there. In the ten years I've lived here, smoking has actually seemed to get worse, with seemingly most smokers ignoring rules of where they aren't allowed to smoke and police ignoring the violations.


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