Male smoking rate in Japan falls below 30% for first time


The proportion of regular smokers among men age 20 or over in Japan has slipped below 30 percent for the first time since statistics became available in 1986, the health ministry said Tuesday.

According to the ministry survey, as of November 2017, the rate of men who smoke stood at 29.4 percent, down 0.8 of a percentage point from a year earlier.

The smoking rate for adult women fell 1 point to 7.2 percent, also an all-time low.

The combined share of male and female smokers declined 0.6 point to a record low of 17.7 percent.

“The results partly reflect a growing health consciousness among people,” a ministry official said.

Of all regular smokers, 28.9 percent, up 1.2 points, said they want to quit. The proportion for men stood at 26.1 percent, up 0.7 point, and that for women at 39 percent, up 4 points.

Nonsmokers were asked where they experienced passive smoking during the month before the survey. Restaurants were most cited by 42.4 percent, up 0.2 point, followed by recreational facilities by 37.3 percent, up 2.9 points. Secondhand smoking was experienced by 31.7 percent on city streets, an increase of 1.2 points, and workplaces by 30.1 percent, down 0.8 point.