Hoping to reduce young people’s exposure to secondhand smoke, 45 percent of schools across the nation have imposed total bans on smoking on their premises, according to a recent education ministry survey.

Together with the 24 percent of schools that say they ban smoking inside buildings and the 26 percent that say they have created separate indoor smoking areas, this means 95 percent of schools have now adopted measures against secondhand smoke, according to the survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

“This is an extremely high rate, which shows how well measures are being implemented. But we hope to pursue them further,” a ministry official said.

The number of schools that have not taken any measures amounted to only 5 percent of the total.

The ministry polled 53,039 public and private elementary, junior high and high schools, kindergartens and schools for disabled children as of April.

According to the survey, 44 percent of elementary schools and high schools have a total smoking ban in place, while the figure is 39 percent for junior high schools and 52 percent for kindergartens.

The poll found that 28 percent of elementary schools have banned smoking inside their buildings while 26 percent have designated smoking areas; 24 percent of junior high schools have banned smoking indoors while 37 percent have designated areas; and 12 percent of high schools have indoor bans and 44 percent have separate smoking areas.

By prefecture, Shizuoka has an almost 100 percent ban on smoking in schools, followed by Wakayama with around 99 percent and Akita at 96 percent.

The survey shows that all national schools have smoking bans or separate smoking areas, while only 2 percent of prefectural and municipal schools and 16 percent of private schools do not.

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