tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

tocacco Cigarettes are smoking products consumed by people and made out of cut tobacco leaves. Cigars are typically composed completely of whole-leaf tobacco. A cigarette has smaller size, composed of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. The term cigarette refers to a tobacco cigarette too but it can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.
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Is total ban on smoking in works?

Could a total smoking ban in all public facilities, such as schools, hospitals, restaurants and hotels, which is set to be urged for all local governments by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, spread across the country and help prevent health hazards caused by secondhand smoke?

Though such a notification would be nonbinding, the ministry shifted from an initial policy of recommending the separation of smoking areas to one to urging a total smoking ban.

It is inevitable that the restaurant industry will oppose the measure because of its likely negative impact on customer numbers. But observers wonder whether the ministry’s action will lead to progress in Japan’s battle against secondhand smoke, which notably lags behind Western countries.

Regarding the purpose of the instruction, which was authored by the director general of its Health Service Bureau, a senior ministry official said, “We expect efforts as well as debates on stopping smoking will deepen.”

It is scientific fact that secondhand smoking, the inhaling of tobacco smoke from others, is harmful to health.

The Health Promotion Law, which was enacted in 2003, set a goal of preventing secondhand smoking. But out of consideration for businesses that would be affected by such efforts, the ministry allowed the inclusion of measures to separate smoking areas, despite also stating that a total smoking ban would be desirable.

However, global antismoking trends have progressed further than Japan’s effort. The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control went into effect in 2005. The convention’s guideline, adopted in 2007, said all measures other than a total smoking ban were imperfect.

Many European countries have accelerated measures to ban smoking in public places, saying that separation measures cannot completely prevent health damage from secondhand smoke.

Given this trend, the ministry set up a panel to discuss the issue in 2008, and the panel compiled a report in March last year saying smoking should face a total ban in principle in public places.

Since last year, the ministry has considered whether a revision of the Industrial Safety and Health Act would be able to compel employers to take measures to prevent secondhand smoke from the perspective of protecting workers.

Since the enactment of the Health Promotion Law, measures to ban smoking or to separate areas for smokers and nonsmokers in public places and public transportation have progressed.

But since the percentage of male smokers remains high-36.8 percent in 2008-it is not easy to impose such measures on izakaya pubs and hotels.

The latest planned ministry instruction allows the separation measures to be instituted on a temporary basis, if a total smoking ban is predicted to seriously hurt such businesses.
But the instruction also demands that these businesses ultimately implement a total smoking ban in the future.

In 2005, major izakaya pub chain Watami opened four no-smoking restaurants in the Tokyo metropolitan area and elsewhere. Despite their good reputation mainly among female clientele, Watami closed the nonsmoking locations after about a year, because of a drop in group reservations and the fact that most late-night customers are smokers who shunned the restaurants.

There are many hotels and department stores that clearly separate where people can and cannot smoke. However, the upcoming ministry notice essentially requests a total smoking ban in such facilities.

“Many smokers use hotels. Considering customers’ needs, I don’t think the total smoking ban is necessary,” said an employee of a major hotel chain. A staffer at a major department store also said both smokers and nonsmokers are good customers and the store simply cannot clear out smoking customers.

At the same time, some taxi companies are welcoming the developments. A spokesman of the taxi association in Osaka Prefecture, where there are fewer nonsmoking taxis than other areas, said about 70 percent of its drivers support a total smoking ban in taxis if all taxis forbid smoking, despite some concern about losing passengers. “If the [ministry] notice accelerates the [nonsmoking] movement, it would be easier for us to implement [a total ban],” the spokesman added.

According to the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations, taxis in Tokyo and 36 prefectures began asking passengers not to smoke in their vehicles as of November. A federation spokesman said the group feels the idea of a total smoking ban is gradually being accepted by customers, although initially providers were concerned about a decrease in revenue.

Many European countries and the United States clearly stipulate smoking bans in public places, and an increasing number of pubs and other eateries in Britain are banning smoking, said Yumiko Mochizuki, who leads smoking policy research at the National Cancer Center.

She pointed out that underlying the delay in imposing a smoking ban in public areas in Japan is the fact that the adverse effects on people’s health from secondhand smoke have not been clearly recognized.

Bungaku Watanabe, chief editor of the monthly magazine “Kinen Journal (nonsmoking journal)” said some eateries overseas actually had more customers when they banned smoking and nonsmokers began patronizing the businesses. “Making the environment harsh for smokers also saves those who want to quit smoking but aren’t able to [on their own],” Watanabe added.

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2 comments to Is total ban on smoking in works?

  • Tazzzzzzz

    No tobacco or tobacco related products should be avaiable!!! Do you want to watch your children be put in the ground before you? If they smoke, it is inevitable. I’m thinking of everyone, not just the smokers. I hate cigarette smoke around me. Don’t you?

  • John Boy

    Tazzzz- I used to smoke. Once in a great while still do. Folks like you are what is wrong with the USA. Why don’t you move to some socialist shit hole and you can enjoy your liberal life with safety and no freedom to do anything? This country is about FREEDOM. I might not like your hobby or activity, and you might not like mine, but unless it’s a criminal act, we are free to pursue our own interests. IF you hate cigarette smoke around you, FLEE to a non smoking place. They are all over now.

    While I don’t smoke, I respect the right of my smoking friends to have at it. I might not crave a smoky atmosphere, but I believe they (smokers) have as much right to smoke as you have NOT to.

    I long for the USA of my youth and moreso, my parents’ youth. What the hell has happened to this once great land?

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