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​Japanese Workers & Passive Smoking Restrictions

20th Apr 2018

A central Japanese government have passed a new regulation which restricts smokers from using lifts within their City Hall workplace for a period of 45 minutes after smoking in order to remove a passive smoking risk.

Passive smoking can be just as harmful to non smokers as smoking is for smokers. This information, backed up by numerous studies is partly what caused Public Health England to implement the Go Smoke Free legislation in England, effectively banning smoking in the majority of public places. Passive smoking has since then been widely recognised as being harmful to health, with health departments and government groups working to pass additional legislation around the world in order to product non-smokers from potentially dangerous cigarette smoke exposure.

All smokers working in Ikoma City Hall, Nara Prefecture are required to either use the stairs after lighting up or wait a minimum period of forty-five minutes in order to decontaminate. This new legislation was introduced to alleviate any risk from what the local government describes as issues resulting from the exhaled air from smokers which could in turn result in passive smoking harm in confined spaces.

While this new legislation is now in place there aren’t any consequences as such for flaunting the rules however obedience is expected, despite some initial resistance from smokers. The building has five flights and so using the stairs instead of the lift could be seen as being an extra positive step in terms of protecting smokers too, who will benefit from the additional exercise this ban has ensured.

A city government official has stated that the new regulation is just another way to help overcome the massive issue of passive smoking and protect human health “Especially for children and pregnant women".

With as many as 21.7% of Japanese adults smoking regularly (according to WHO - the World Health Organisation) it is encouraging to hear that Japanese local and central governments are looking at ways to encourage smokers to quit and to protect non-smokers from the dangers of passive smoking.

Passive smoking is indeed something that is very much frowned upon, with smoking in cars with children in being strictly prohibited in the UK now too.

The dangers of smoking and passive smoking are very well known and yet there are some who would rather climb the five flights or go out of their way to enjoy a smoke rather than give up. This is where vaping has become the obvious choice for many as individuals want to quit smoking, or want to avoid the censure of smoking and yet they enjoy the hobby. Vaping offers much of what smoking does in terms of a relaxing and for many enjoyable hobby, hand to mouth action, taking a draw (instead of taking a drag) and so on.

With Public Health England, the group responsible for the UK’s 2007 public smoking ban advocating for the use of e cigarettes and citing their own research and health review when explaining that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking at least, many who were previously dubious are looking at vaping with new eyes. Many NHS groups, health charities and more are also highlighting the benefits of switching over to vaping instead of smoking cigarettes in order to step away from the clearly unhealthy and potential damaging tobacco smoking habit.

With more and more restrictions being placed on smokers in terms of where and when they are allowed to smoke, as well as price hikes and additional taxes it is clear to see why vaping is becoming so popular. Of course vaping offers plenty of other benefits too, including being more affordable long term, enjoyable (many say), customisable and you have the choice to enjoy a number of different flavours and nicotine strengths when choosing your e liquids.

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