Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Smoking banning law in England and Japan

It was a decade ago that England banned smoking from public spaces. Nowadays, In very limited situations you can smoke outside of your home.

When I lived in London, this new legislation was still proceeding. I often saw emails from the office of King's College to notify it abandoned a smoking space in the campus.

It is no doubt that smoking can harm your health, there are still several points to be discussed. Is smoking in any areas a human right? Can preventing passive smoking justify prohibiting an owner of a pub from letting the guests smoke? Is the government responsible for reduced income of restaurants due to the enforcement of smoke-free regulation?

Finally, England took a rather radical way. And the result seems fruitful. Banning smoking areas led to decreased hospitalization as well as enhanced awareness of health concern in citizens.

The Conversation: Eight things that have changed since the smoking ban ten years ago

On the other hand, Japan government is preparing for new legislation for reducing passive smoking. Japan was requested to address this issue before Tokyo Olympic planned in 2020.

But its content is far weaker than England's. Small pubs will be excluded from the regulation. The government explained that children and pregnant women would not enter a pub, thus prohibited smoking would not be necessary there.

In real, several politicians in ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are cigarette lovers. They have formed an alliance for smoking. Also, JT, a huge tobacco company, is a staunch supporter of LDP. Therefore, the parliament is hesitating to establish a strong regulation for smoking.

I am a non-smoker. I hate smoke. I have no concern to thoughts of people who love smoking. Nonetheless, complete banning of smoking in any restaurants is a little excessive. If all of the guests, servants, and the owner agree to smoke, their decision should be respected. Of course, I will never enter such place.

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