As someone who is asthmatic and never ever tried a single cigarette, it’s an understatement to say that I don’t really like smoking. It was therefore very nice to experience the smoke-free pubs in Britain for the first time over the festive season and be able to go home not absolutely stinking of smoke.
I just wish Japan would catch-up with the western world regarding its smoking laws but I very much doubt it will. Unlike the UK, very few bars are on the ground floor (due to space) in Tokyo so rather than popping outside for a quick fag, it would mean taking a lift down or even up and then returning.
For a country fairly obsessed with its food, its actually worse for smoking here as eating is a major part of the ‘going out’ experience which inevitably leads to an ‘added’ flavour. Some restaurants don’t even have non-smoking sections which is not very nice in a country where such a high proportion of people smoke.
It’s not so surprising maybe given that they are four times cheaper than in the UK and also freely available from the ubiquitous vending machines. Although there are allotted smoking areas around the city and on the platforms, many people still choose to smoke on the move which is not so good in crowded streets where you can’t escape the poisoned air. In my opinion, its quite ridiculous that if you eat a burger in public in this country then you’re frowned upon but smoking and passively passing it on to others is deemed ok.