Poll: 40% of nonsmokers exposed to passive smoking

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo

People smoke cigarettes at a smoking area in front of Shinbashi Station in Tokyo in July.

The Yomiuri ShimbunMore than 40 percent of nonsmokers have been exposed to cigarette smoke at restaurants and bars, according to a 2017 health ministry survey.

The survey on people’s health and nutrition highlighted the fact that measures aimed at curbing passive smoking ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 have not been fully effective.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry conducted the survey in November via public health centers across the country. About 6,600 people aged 20 or older responded to questions regarding smoking and other lifestyle habits.

Forty-two percent of the nonsmokers said they had inhaled other people’s cigarette smoke at an eating or drinking establishment within the past month. Those who did so at pachinko parlors and other gaming establishments accounted for 37 percent, while 32 percent did so on the streets, 30 percent at workplaces, 13 percent on public transportation, and 7 percent at medical institutions.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

These percentages of passive smoking have been level over the past several years.

The smoking rate is continuing to drop. The percentage of male smokers fell below 30 percent for the first time, at 29.4 percent, and female smokers’ portion of respondents was 7.2 percent — both record lows since the survey started in 1986.

The July revisions of the Health Promotion Law will completely ban smoking at schools, hospitals and other indoor facilities. However, smoking will still be permitted at small eating or drinking establishments with dining or drinking areas measuring 100 square meters or smaller. Critics say the Japanese regulation falls short of international standards.

The survey also asked respondents about their sleep habits, and one in three respondents in their 40s said they felt they were not getting enough rest through sleep. The age group also had the highest number of people saying they slept less than six hours a night on average, with 49 percent of men and 52 percent of women in their 40s giving that answer.Speech

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