Japan

Dear Japan… #1 – Smoking

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Dear Japan,

I love you. I really do. When you’re great, you are awesome. I have settled in okay and am enjoying as much as you have to offer (that I can afford XD).  However, I do have one MAJOR bone to pick with you…

Why don’t you care more about the health of non-smokers inside of buildings???

No, seriously. It’s really bad and it is one of the things that I cannot get over.

I guess I can say I am grateful that you have designated smoking areas for people to smoke in outdoors. I’m sure it is wonderful that I or anyone else can’t get harmed in passing on the street because walking and smoking is no longer a thing. I also peep that you are slowly making strides in the designated smoking areas indoors too. That’s great.

However, if I had to make a choice on where to have smoking allowed or not, as a non-smoker I would prefer people to smoke outside where it is ventilated as opposed to indoors.

In particular, I’m complaining about your bars and clubs. Nothing irritates me more than going to a bar/club and paying money to access the place, only to have to leave early because my eyes and lungs are literally burning from so much cigarette smoke and no proper ventilation. To make matters worse, your trains do not run all night. So when I leave a club at 2:30am, I’m stuck wandering the streets or finding another place I can pay to wait in (like a karaoke room or manga cafe) until I can catch the first train home. Also, it is pretty dangerous for people to be drinking alcohol, lighting up cigarettes on the dance floor, and then waving them around as they smoke and dance at the same time. I have a friend who was burned on the arm once because of this.

We all know how harmful cigarettes are, and I’m sorry if I seem insensitive, but I would like to go out and have a good time without having to be at risk because of how someone else chooses to harm their body. I don’t think people should have to be subjected to other’s smoking habits. I can’t tell a person not to smoke, however, given how harmful they are, the law should make indoor spaces safe for everyone. Go outside and smoke. If you don’t want to be in the elements, then stop smoking. I don’t know. But I do know that I don’t want lung cancer or even just the feeling of burning eyes and not being able to breathe because someone has to smoke indoors.

I really hope this is something that will change in the upcoming years with the olympics coming to town, but unfortunately, who knows how long that will take. Until then, I’ll just save all the money I would have spent going out and stick to places where the smoke can’t get me. Which really is a shame because it is nice to meet people and have conversations over a few drinks, but I just can’t do it at the cost of my well being.

*I still love you though*

Onjel

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