Heisei in Perspective: Smoking Rate Declining in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--The proportion of smokers is dropping in Japan, with the figure in 2018 down by half from the 36 pct level when the current Heisei era began in 1989.

Japan Tobacco Inc. <2914> attributed the decline to increasing health awareness, an aging population, tougher smoking regulations and higher cigarette prices due chiefly to tax hikes.

According to a survey by JT, the smoking rate among people aged 20 and older fell to 17.9 pct in 2018 from 36.1 pct in 1989. The proportion of smokers among adult men dived to 27.8 pct from 61.1 pct. Both rates hit the lowest levels since the survey was launched in 1965.

The smoking rate has continued falling since peaking in 1966, at 49.4 pct in total and at 83.7 pct for men.

Antismoking movements are viewed as one cause of the drop. According to Fumisato Watanabe, head of a center for information on tobacco issues, there were no smoking regulations at almost all public and transportation facilities when he started a movement for nonsmokers' rights some 40 years ago.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press