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18 February 2010 @ 11:04 pm
(ALMOST) THE BEST NEWS EVER!!!  
Before you click this, keep in mind that the thing that I hate most is cigarette smoke.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20100218-OYT1T00777.htm?from=main4

It is in Japanese, but basically it says that the National Health Ministry is (finally) going to issue a request to turn public places, including hospitals, schools, offices, restaurants, etc, nonsmoking.

It's not law yet, and it seems Kanagawa (the area just South of Tokyo) is taking it to heart first(no surprise, as they halfheartedly tried to do something on their own a while back), but it is a great first step!

What most people don't understand is that it is almost unheard of to have nonsmoking areas in Japan. I do see it more often these days, and true that most stores don't allow smoking (though people often do it in the stairwells, so it seeps into some stores). But in general, most restaurants and professional offices do not have any concept of nonsmoking areas, and if you ask them about it, they will just give you a funny look. It's really limited my options of places to eat. And hospitals? Sure, you can't smoke in the waiting rooms, but that doesn't mean that other areas aren't reeking. I also can't tell you how I DREAD going to my TV studio's office just because people smoke there. INSIDE THE OFFICE. TO me that is not just unhealthy, it is downright RUDE. But they (the smokers) either don't get it or don't care. If you want to smoke, I think it is sad but it is your decision to poison your body. But it is not your right to poison anybody else. So unless the smoke is 100% contained, then you have no right to smoke imo. My father smokes,a nd so do my sister and brother now. But thanks to my mother, he was never allowed to smoke around us growing up. I am very grateful for that!!

There are some restaurants in Japan (mainly family-oriented or foreign-owned chains) that have nonsmoking sections, but to be honest, I cannot remember the last time that I sat in a nonsmoking section that didn't actually reek of smoke drifting over from the smoking section, usually right next to the smoking section, with no barrier. My friends and I were even led to a nonsmoking section once that ended up being just one table in the center of a room. The rest of the entire room was smoking section, including the tables that I would bump into if I scooted back my chair a little too far. Umm, does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

Anyways.. with this statement, which was released today, I am SO HAPPY! I started crying! It's just one little step, but it's a step in the right direction. I support worldwide abolishment of smoking with all of my heart. One day I hope to see that dream realized!
(Sorry, I just wanted to talk without needing and feedback, so I disabled comments. If you like this sentiment, or if you dislike it, I do thank you for reading this far anyways! ^^)