I love living in Japan. I love it so much so that I *only* have one major complaint - everybody seems to smoke. OK - it may not be everybody but according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, you can see that around 60% of males in their thirties smoke (the green line at the top). The amount of female smokers is on the rise too but am surprised to see that the research shows that only 20% in their twenties smoke - seems like much more.
I do have friends who smoke all for different reasons but smoking is still advertised as being "cool". Theres no advertising on TV but its on billboards, trains etc. You even see typical macho men in a tight surfing suit with a board having a puff after riding a wave... @.@
One thing I liked about living in Seattle for a while was that all the cafes and restaurants were smoke free. I wanted to come back to Japan after lack-of-gundam-n-figure syndrome and said to myself that I chose to come back here so should not complain about the smoke. But its nice to complain once in a while...
Below: In a very rough nut shell - over 50% of men (in their 40's or younger) smoke and the percentage of women smokers is on the rise.
Not sure how Japan compares to the rest of the world when it comes to smoking. Surely Japan has a high percentage?
Had coffee in this cafe because I was told there was a non-smoking section. I sat at the table to the left of this pic and discovered that the smoking section was right next to me - the guy reading the paper in a suit. Most public cafes and restaurants are like this in japan and are laughable.