National

Overshadowed by pandemic, Japan's ban on indoor smoking goes into effect

Jiji

A law banning indoor smoking in principle took full effect across the nation on Wednesday as part of an effort to protect people from passive smoking going into the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The revised health promotion law bans smoking at restaurants, hotels and offices, with offenders facing penalties. The law partially went into effect last year, banning smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices.

Cigar bars, private homes and hotel rooms are exempt from the ban.

In addition, customers can smoke at existing small restaurants run by individuals on condition that they put a sign at the entrance stating that smoking is allowed, they have no more than ¥50 million in capital and a floor space of 100 square meters or less.

The revised law also allows smoking at restaurants only in designated rooms with exhaust equipment meeting certain requirements.

Eating and drinking are not allowed in smoking rooms and people aged under 20 are not allowed to enter the rooms. Smokers of heat-not-burn cigarettes are also required to use such rooms.

Penalties include a fine of up to ¥300,000 on people who smoke at nonsmoking establishments and a fine of up to ¥500,000 for operators of such facilities who put ashtrays in nonsmoking areas.

Separately, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government ordinance fully took effect on Wednesday banning smoking in principle at all restaurants employing workers.

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