Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Smoking in Japan

Smoking is one disgusting habit I saw everyday in Japan in spite of public health advertisements to curb it.

I got a kick out of signs like these.

There are smoking areas set up along train platforms, much like smoking rooms in airport terminals except the ones on train platforms are open air so non-smokers still get a whiff of the less than fresh air pretty frequently.

This anti-smoking poster pictured below caught my eye for obvious reasons. I saw it in a train station.

People can smoke on trains, including the bullet train, but only in certain designated cars. When we took the Shinkansen we sat in a non-smoking car but that didn't stop someone from lighting up.

Smoking is also allowed in restaurants, something which makes for a much less pleasant meal if you ask me.

Whenever we ate in a restaurant or cafe, as we did at least a half dozen times, we were inundated with smoke.

Another interesting thing about smoking in Japan is that cigarettes are sold in vending machines everywhere.

You can easily buy a pack of smokes at any time of day; just walk down a street and eventually you'll find one with a cigarette stocked vending machine. You may also find one that has sake.

The easy accessibility of smokes makes me wonder why they bother having a minimum smoking age at all.

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