smoking

Company’s smoking regulations cover all bases with math, technology, psychology, and courtesy

Company’s smoking regulations cover all bases with math, technology, psychology, and courtesy

While progress has been slow and begrudging, anti-smoking movements are finally starting to gain traction in Japan. For example, smoking is largely banned in train stations, except for in designated enclosed smoking spaces, and even many of those are being removed.

Likewise, when smartphone advertising firm Adways moved into a new office, management saw it as a chance to rethink how to make the workplace more comfortable for nonsmokers, and came up with a solution that uses a mix of technology and simple common courtesy.

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Shinjo City shares its love with anti-smoking poster

Shinjo City shares its love with anti-smoking poster

Although, Japan is still something of a smoker’s paradise compared to other developed countries, there are signs that times are a’changing with an increase in prices and no-smoking areas sprouting up across the land.

Anti-smoking groups often use dramatic stories and images to try and frighten or disgust people out of smoking tobacco. However, one simple poster hanging in a smoking section in Shinjo City, Yamagata Prefecture sends a chilling message of love to all their nicotine addicts.

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Video of man “posing as a Japanese” while smoking on Taipei subway leaves Asia confused

Video of man “posing as a Japanese” while smoking on Taipei subway leaves Asia confused

A curious video uploaded to YouTube late last week has been raising eyebrows across Asia today, but perhaps not for the reasons it was originally shot. In it, we see a man smoking a cigarette on the subway in Taipei, mouthing off to those around him after they ask him to extinguish it. A few seconds in, however, and we notice that there’s something else not quite right.

Simply titled “Man posing as a Japanese smokes on the subway“, the video has already been viewed thousands of times, with nearly every comment after it saying more or less the same thing: “That guy’s not Japanese.”

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Japanese fashion model proposes violent punishment for people who smoke while walking

Japanese fashion model proposes violent punishment for people who smoke while walking

Japan has a number of etiquette rules that might not be readily apparent to people from overseas, such removing your shoes before entering the locker room at the gym, or not wiping your face with the towel you’re given upon being seated in a restaurant.

Recently fashion model Nanao updated her blog with a post expounding the problem with another Japanese societal no-no: smoking while walking.

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“Smoking Café” last oasis for increasingly ostracized Tokyo smokers

“Smoking Café” last oasis for increasingly ostracized Tokyo smokers

Japan has a long way to go when it comes to eliminating the public health hazards associated with smoking, but recent public policy efforts have caused a serious change in attitude toward smokers.

Smoking sections in restaurants and cafes are becoming smaller and increasingly more isolated, while fleets of bike-mounted enforcers hand out humiliating fines to those caught smoking on designated no smoking streets.

Finally, however, smokers can indulge in their pastime in peace at the Koshigaya Laketown shopping mall in Saitama Prefecture. A new specialized café, Smoking Café Briquet, caters specifically to tobacco connoisseurs with a variety of smoking merchandise and cigar and cigarette selections, with every seat in the house safe to light up in. It’s almost like being a character in Kaze Tachinu

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Switching to manner mode: The importance of social etiquette in urban Japan

Switching to manner mode: The importance of social etiquette in urban Japan

Ask someone to describe the Japanese people in ten words or fewer and more often than not ‘polite’ or ‘reserved’ will appear somewhere in the mix. Japan is known the world over as a safe, pleasant place to live where people are on the whole helpful and courteous; few people visit Japan and return home with tales of rude airport staff or inattentive waitresses.

When I first came to Japan, I had the pleasure of living for five years in a pretty little town in Fukushima Prefecture, surrounded by rice fields, rivers and some of the deepest greens I have ever seen. Of course, I experienced the warmth of locals’ hospitality and kindness first-hand, but it was only in when I moved south to Tokyo in 2011 that I came to understand the real meaning of the word manā (‘manner’), and began to appreciate how much more important it is in urban living.

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How to easily get cigarette smoke out of clothes… but does it really work?? 【Experiment】

How to easily get cigarette smoke out of clothes… but does it really work?? 【Experiment】

Whoohoo, party’s on tonight! Happy, happy, joy, party rock is in the house tonight!! Drinking parties (nomikai) in Japan go off. Can’t wait!!!

But hold on… there’s a catch. It’s still common for smoking to be permitted in bars in Japan. You might not notice it, but as soon as you get home it hits you like a karate chop to the nose—the stink of cigarette smoke. Even if you weren’t smoking yourself, the second-hand smoke will make your clothes reek, right down to your stinky underwear. Yes, even if you didn’t expose your underwear. Yuck.

Could this simple trick be the solution?

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Survey suggests that more kids than ever in Japan think cigarettes stink

Survey suggests that more kids than ever in Japan think cigarettes stink

Cigarettes–at one time the hallmark accessory of any cool kid in school who dared sneak off to the bathroom to share a stolen smoke with a pal. Because, as we all know, nothing says “bad-ass” like inhaling nicotine and tar from a paper tube moistened with your friend’s spit while hiding in a latrine.

Kids will always be kids, and whether they genuinely enjoy the rebellious activity they’re engaging in or not will often make a point of doing it just to stand out from the crowd. But according to a recent survey taken in Hokkaido, Japan, almost 50 percent fewer high school boys smoke today than 17 years ago.

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Jackie Chan Speaks Out Against Chinese Law Enforcement as “Too Soft on Smoking”

Jackie Chan Speaks Out Against Chinese Law Enforcement as “Too Soft on Smoking”

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (PCC) is a group composed of politicians, organizations, and other independent members who gather to help shape the political agenda for the upcoming year.

During this meeting on 4 March, international film star Jackie Chan appeared before the Governmental Advisory Institute with some stern words about the way law enforcement is handled in his country when it comes to cigarettes.

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Radical Japanese Company Advertises Jobs Online: “We do not employ smokers”

Radical Japanese Company Advertises Jobs Online: “We do not employ smokers”

As public perception of smoking becomes increasingly negative, and with the number of smoking areas in restaurants and cafes in Japan becoming fewer and fewer each year, it’s fair to say that those little white sticks that once brought so much pleasure to so many are perhaps on their way out.

As people find themselves becoming more and more irritated by cigarette smoke as they walk though crowded streets, and residents grow sick of sweeping up discarded cigarette butts in their neighbourhoods, smoking anywhere outside of specially designated kitsuen (smoking) zones has become a punishable offence in many urban areas of Japan.

The times, they are a-changing.

But even with so many turning their backs of tobacco and labelling it as un-cool, few could have predicted that a company as large as Hoshino Resorts would actively advertise the fact that they no longer accept job applications from smokers.

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Young People Speak Out: Recent Survey Suggests That Japan’s Older Generation’s Manners Stink

Young People Speak Out: Recent Survey Suggests That Japan’s Older Generation’s Manners Stink

While walking home from the station last weekend, eyes glued to my mobile phone as is my own particular vice, I suddenly found myself enveloped by vast plumes of cigarette smoke. Looking ahead of me, a guy in a business suit walking in the same direction had lit up a cig and was merrily puffing away, obviously in need of a hit having just disembarked a train himself.

While I’m definitely one of the anti-smoking set, I have absolutely no problem with other people smoking if they want to- just so long as it doesn’t affect the people around them. For me, smoking is like farting; go ahead and enjoy your own, but please don’t share with everyone else.

Breaking into a little jog, I overtook the smoker- a man in his late fifties wearing a business suit- and, once again able to breathe freely, walked up-wind of him.

No sooner had I done so that a second man, a little older this time, emerged from a side street. He blew his nose noisily on a handkerchief and stuffed it into his coat pocket, at which point he coughed, sniffed and, with what sounded like a tremendous physical effort, spat something brown out onto the pavement just a few feet ahead of me.

Quite forgetting myself, I muttered “kitanai naa” (“man, that’s dirty…”) a little too loudly, but received little more than a quick, disinterested glance from the man as he passed by.

So when I came across an article over on NicoNico News titled “Senior Citizens Have Worse Manners Than Young People”, I couldn’t help but feel that it might be on to something…

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“Spare Some Change, Guvnor?” Photo of Distinctly Impious Monks Causes Outrage Online

“Spare Some Change, Guvnor?” Photo of Distinctly Impious Monks Causes Outrage Online

In pretty much any major city around the world, you’re bound to run in to a person collecting money for some cause or other. It could be in aid of curing a deadly disease, cutting world hunger, protecting the environment or even animal rights activists PETA asking for donations when they’re not making online videogames

In Japan, it’s not uncommon to encounter Buddhist monks, standing still in the street with a bowl in hand, asking for donations. This is a tradition that has existed in Japan for centuries, and, while few busy city-dwellers stop to drop a few yen in the bowl, even fewer would begrudge the monks for doing it since they have scant income and bring a lot of comfort to many people.

A photo that appeared online earlier this week, however, showing what appears to be two monks sitting in a side-street laughing and smoking while counting their takings for the day, has caused quite a stir among Japan’s internet users…

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Smokers Find New Haven in Japan, But for a Price

Smokers Find New Haven in Japan, But for a Price

It’s getting tougher to be a smoker in Japan. It was once a paradise for tobacco lovers, who were free to light up in workplaces, restaurants, bars, on the street, and pretty much any darn place they pleased. Add to that the low price of cigarettes and the ever-present vending machines, and you couldn’t swing a tanuki without hitting a smoker. In recent years, though, smoking has been banned on the streets and in offices, the taxes on tobacco have gone up, and more and more public spaces are going smoke free. The government even announced recently that they are launching a 10-year plan to cut the smoking rate nearly in half.

While this trend has tobacco companies shaking in their boots, one company has turned it into a golden business opportunity. For just 50 yen, Ippuku (roughly “a cig” in Japanese) offers smokers a comfortable, indoor place to take a 15-min smoke break. Read More