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Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008

Passive smoking has restaurant diners breathing fire: survey


Staff writer

Despite steps taken by the government to curb passive smoking, a survey released Tuesday by drug maker Pfizer Japan Inc. found many are still bothered by other restaurant diners' lit cigarettes.

Only about a fifth of those who felt annoyed by other people's cigarette smoke said they were willing to go back to the same restaurant.

The company, which conducted an Internet survey of 400 smokers and 400 nonsmokers about their cigarette tolerance, found that 67.3 percent of the 800 respondents, or 538 people, said they had felt bothered by passive smoking.

Of the 538, 78.3 percent said that although they had sat in a restaurant's nonsmoking section, they were still troubled by smoke coming from the smoking section, the survey said.

The survey suggests measures taken by central and local governments to reduce passive smoking are insufficient. Although the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry enforced the health promotion law urging eateries to prevent passive smoking in 2003, it lacks the authority to compel restaurants to obey the law.

Local governments were slow to follow the state's lead. Kanagawa this year became the first prefecture to enact an ordinance against passive smoking in public places.



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The Japan Times

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