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Passive smoking on streets annoys people in Japan the most: survey

4 Jun 2023

TOKYO, June 4 (Xinhua) -- A recent survey by a Japanese medical institution showed that passive smoking on streets makes people in Japan feel uncomfortable the most, stressing the need for greater efforts to prevent outdoor passive smoking.

The National Cancer Center Japan conducted the online survey in April with about 2,000 people in their 20s and older, 1,000 each from nonsmokers and smokers.

When asked whether survey participants thought passive smoking was unpleasant, 77.2 percent of the non-smokers and 36.2 percent of the smokers replied that it was.

When asked to name places where they have experienced discomfort due to second-hand smoking, with multiple answers allowed, 73.4 percent of nonsmokers said "on streets," while 47.8 percent answered "in restaurants, cafeterias, food courts and other places where meals are mainly served." Among smokers, 64.1 percent said "on streets," followed by 34.3 percent who said "outdoor smoking areas."

Japan enforced a law in April 2020 to prevent the spread of passive smoke by basically banning indoor smoking at restaurants, offices and other places used by many people. But the Tokyo-based cancer center said further measures are required to address smoking at outdoor locations.

Tomoyasu Hirano of the center's Division of Tobacco Policy Research, which conducted the survey, said people should refrain from smoking when in the presence of others, adding that it is necessary to specify situations where it is preferable not to smoke, such as when children are nearby.

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