I agree with Patricia Yarrow’s Feb. 12 letter, “Shaky will to reduce smoking” — about lowering cigarette consumption in Japan, which has an obscenely high smoking rate, especially among men.
The people of the world are still reeling from the invention of the automatic cigarette rolling machine around 1880. Each little stick contains a great deal more than just tobacco, with some additives chosen because they boost nicotine absorption. The government of this country owes it to the public to wean them off cigarettes, but it mainly offers lip service. Perhaps there are just too many smokers in positions of power. But they, too, should quit.
If I may add a short amendment to Yarrow’s letter, the government needs to sell its Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) shares as soon as possible. The days when it was considered acceptable for the public to be directly involved in a tobacco monopoly passed long ago, and the money could be used to benefit the public instead.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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