While it is gratifying to learn that smoking has been banned at JR stations in Tokyo, the fact remains that most public places in Japan are organized to maximize the convenience of smokers (“Breathing easier at JR stations,” April 12). In Osaka, many train stations place smoking sections in central areas rather than at the end of the platform. Furthermore, in Osaka city, most restaurants herd nonsmokers into “no smoking areas” — usually small windowless parts of their establishments — rather than quarantining smokers in smoking sections. Reorganizing public places with a view toward the health and convenience of nonsmokers would be nice. Banning smoking altogether seems like an impossible dream.
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