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Smoking Culture: US vs. Japan

By Asian American in Tokyo | May 19, 2007

It’s no secret that the Japanese are heavy smokers. I wonder if anyone has done a study on how this country could have the longest lifespans in the world yet everyone smokes. Recently, things have improved a bit. In certain towns/districts, smoking on the streets is banned.

This seems nice and healthy, until you realize that everyone still smokes indoors – especially in restaurants! So, protect pregnant women and kids on the street, but hey, if they come into a restaurant expose them to concentrated carcinogens. For my family, it’s been tough to find nice restaurants where we can enjoy a meal without people smoking around us. Even McDonald’s reeks as they usually can’t isolate the non-smoking section effectively. Fortunately, there’s always Starbucks where smoking is totally not allowed.

In areas such as offices, airports and train stations, more and more “smoking rooms” are being installed to help keep the air clean. Looks like they are pretty popular.

There you have it – opposite smoking culture.

US: “Hey, go outside if you’re going to smoke”. Japan: “Please go inside to smoke”.

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Topics: Culture | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Smoking Culture: US vs. Japan”

  1. Ace-Kun Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Yes! A smoking room!! PACK UP YOUR BAGS KIDS! WE’RE GOING TO JAPAN!!!

  2. Inking Stamp : Says:
    November 1st, 2010 at 12:25 am

    it is quite sad that most train stations these days are horrendously overloaded “”


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