Regarding the editorial “Passive smoking and children” in the Oct. 15 edition, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s effort to protect kids from secondhand smoke may not work in Japan for two reasons.

First, because I have seen many people smoking without any qualms in front of children in izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) and other small restaurants — some even blowing smoke in children’s faces.

Second, many restaurants are against bringing in children less than 5 years of age because they could cry or run around. This shows the reluctance of people in general to accept and adjust to kids around them. This general apathy may lead many people to ignore the presence of children and put the blame on parents who bring children in such places.

The government will have to raise more genuine awareness against smoking in public before such steps become effective.


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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