(゜A゜;)ゴクリ英字新聞

Promote smoking ban for nation's health
The push for stricter rules on smoking aimed at preventing the ill effects on health of secondhand smoke is becoming readily apparent.
As the prime example, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has notified local governments throughout the country that a total smoking ban should be enforced in principle at places where the general public gathers such as schools, hospitals, restaurants and recreational facilities as well as public transport.
The action is based on the Health Promotion Law. Previously, setting out smoking areas or segregating smokers in public places was considered sufficient, but the rules have been made more strict since the separation of smokers from nonsmokers in common spaces cannot effectively protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.
However, the rules do not lay out any punishments or fines for violators. Segregation of smokers from nonsmokers is allowed tentatively if such a measure is considered to affect business at restaurants and other establishments.
Also, discussions are continuing on the issue of obliging business owners to make workplaces smoke free under the Industrial Safety and Health Law.
===
International obligations
Behind these moves is the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that went into force in 2005. One of the major pillars of the treaty is the prevention of passive smoking in public places.
Furthermore, guidelines on protection from exposure to tobacco smoke stipulating "Approaches other than 100% smoke free environments...have repeatedly been shown to be ineffective..." were adopted in 2007. The convention's signatory nations have been urged to take measures to comply with the guidelines by the February deadline.
Among local governments, Kanagawa Prefecture, for instance, has decided to bring in an ordinance on prevention of passive smoking with punishments for violators starting in April, getting the jump on other local governments and the central government.
While the health ministry's notification is not binding, it will at least encourage the spread of stricter antismoking rules nationwide.
===
Consideration for others
Secondhand smoke is very annoying to nonsmokers. Various data show that passive smoking damages health. To make places where many people gather smoke free in principle is a step in the right direction for the nation.
Japan has been dubbed a "major smoking nation." The proportion of adult males who smoke is in the mid-30 percent range, considerably high among advanced nations.
However, the rate has been gradually decreasing from the nearly 50 percent a decade ago, an apparent effect of regulation on tobacco advertisements and warnings of the health hazards posed by cigarette smoke.
From October, the price of cigarettes will likely be raised by about 100 yen a pack. Motivated by what may be the largest-ever hike in the price of tobacco, more than a few smokers are likely to decide to quit.
It is important to steadily proceed with such multiple approaches.
In doing so, the administration should be careful not to force "health" on the nation. The government should avoid aggressively promoting antismoking campaigns without considering smokers' opinions and listening to their arguments against the campaigns.
The campaign against smoking in public spaces and workplaces basically should be promoted with understanding and cooperation of smokers, restaurants and others.
We cannot welcome a situation in which the society becomes stifled even if it does mean a greater proliferation of smoke-free spaces.
nice!(0)  コメント(0)  トラックバック(0) 
共通テーマ:moblog

nice! 0

コメント 0

コメントを書く

お名前:
URL:
コメント:
画像認証:
下の画像に表示されている文字を入力してください。

トラックバック 0

この広告は前回の更新から一定期間経過したブログに表示されています。更新すると自動で解除されます。

この広告は180日新規投稿のないブログに表示されます