"Separate smoking areas in no way control smoke adequately" - head of tobacco control society
15 June 2011 - WHO Kobe Centre presented its research on Smoke Free Cities at a public lecture in Sanda City, Hyogo entitled “I Love Clean Air – preventing secondhand smoke” on Saturday, 11 June. First, head of the Sumoto City Health and Welfare Division and executive of the Japanese Association of Smoking Control Science, Dr Masaaki Yamaoka used research data and video footage to demonstrate the health damage done by active smoking and secondhand smoke. He explained that separate smoking areas in no way control smoke adequately and that fully smoke-free indoor spaces are the only real way to prevent secondhand smoke.
Next, Ms Mina Kashiwabara, a consultant at WHO Kobe Centre, presented the Smoke Free Cities project, looking at the trend of Japanese local governments restricting smoking in streets and other public outdoor areas. Most such municipal ordinances, however, do not originate with health concerns but rather have environment and aesthetic goals. Overseas, comprehensive regulations (including indoor smoking bans) are gaining ground at the municipal level. More such regulations are expected to emerge to combat secondhand smoke in Japan too.