• Kyodo News

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The smoking rate among adults has fallen to an all-time low for the 15th consecutive year, decreasing 1.0 percentage point from a year ago to 23.9 percent, Japan Tobacco Inc. said Wednesday.

JT attributed the long-running downtrend to growing health consciousness and tighter regulations.

The number of smokers is likely to decrease further when the cigarette tax is increased in October.

The rate among men declined 2.3 points to 36.6 percent, a fall for 19 years in a row, while that of women rose 0.2 point to 12.1 percent, the first rise in two years.

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