Smoking in Japan


Do you feel other people smoking is annoying? graph of japanese opiniongoo Research recently published the results of a survey of their internet monitor pool on the subject of tobacco. They interviewed 1,076 people by means of a private internet-based questionnaire towards the end of July, but the survey report does not include any demographic breakdown.

Note that although there is no age, occupation or sex breakdown, given goo Research’s monitor pool there should be slightly less than average manual workers, the sort of demographic that has a higher smoking rate, I believe, so the 23.1% of regular smokers should not be extrapolated to the general population. Similarly, most goo surveys have about 55% to 60% women respondents, and women are significantly less likely to smoke (about 15% versus 50%) than men.

One strange thing about cigarettes in Japan is the uniformity of price; prices for a particular brand are the same across all vendors, from cigarette machines to big supermarkets via corner shops. In addition, the price for a case of 10 boxes is not discounted at all, except for them occasionally throwing in a small gift like a lighter or similar trinket. Beer is similar, although you do get discounts for six-packs, but soft drinks often vary in price as one might expect. Is there some law on price-setting?

Q1: Do you smoke? (Sample size=1,076)

Every day23.1%
Sometimes smoke3.2%
Just recently stopped2.3%
Used to smoke, but don’t now22.7%
Never smoked48.8%

Q2: What do you think about the recent tobacco price increase? (Sample size=307, current smokers and recent quitters)

Too large48.5%
Just about right15.0%
Too small5.2%
Opposed to any price rise29.0%

Note that the price rise was on average about one yen per cigarette, or 20 yen (or 17 US cents, or nine UK pennies) for a box. However, some brands went up in price by 30 yen per box.

Q3: After the tobacco price increase, did your smoking habits change? (Sample size=current smokers and recent quitters)

Number smoked per day decreased17.3%
Quit smoking4.2%
Thought about quitting smoking soon19.5%
No particular change58.6%

Q4: If a pack of cigarettes reached a certain price would you consider quitting? (Sample size=282, current smokers)

300 yen4.6%
400 yen21.3%
500 yen39.4%
600 yen7.1%
700 yen0.7%
800 yen1.8%
900 yen0.7%
1000 yen or more10.6%
Won’t quit regardless of price9.9%

Note that the current price for a pack is between 270 yen and 330 yen, with 300 yen (USD2.60, UKP1.35) the most common value.

Q5: Do you feel other people smoking is annoying? (Sample size=non smokers)

Always feel so54.8%
Sometimes feel so37.7%
Don’t really feel so6.6%
Never feel so1.0%

Q6: Does your place of work have smoking and non-smoking areas separated? (Sample size=821, those in employment?)

Very well separated28.6%
Mostly separated40.0%
Not really separated18.9%
Not separated at all12.5%

Q7: At your place of work, what sort of tobacco-related things make you feel unpleasant? (Sample size=821, multiple answer)

Smell of smokers32.0%
Smoke and smell, etc, leaking into the workplace from the smoking room29.8%
Smoking room has not been set up18.2%
Workplace is not non-smoking11.9%
Regardless of the workplace being non-smoking, colleagues light up after hours, etc10.5%
Don’t feel any particular unpleasantness35.8%

Q8: What places that you frequent do you feel are slow to establish smoking and non-smoking areas? (Sample size=unknown, multiple answer)

Pubs and bars51.7%
On pavements in shopping areas51.2%
Restaurants and other eating places44.8%
Public facilities27.7%
Public transport22.6%
Place of work18.1%
Nowhere in particular15.3%

Q9: What was the reason for deciding to quit smoking? (Sample size=269, ex-smokers, multiple answer)

Concern about health53.9%
To save money20.8%
Damaging my health17.1%
Got pregnant16.4%
Price went up13.0%
Friends or family recommended I did11.5%
Smoking areas decreased4.8%

Q10: Have you used health insurance to get nicotine-based medicines for stopping smoking? (Sample size=not known)

Already have and quit smoking2.1%
Tried using them but couldn’t stop2.1%
Want to try them40.8%
Don’t want to try them51.4%
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1 Comment »

  1. samuel welsh said,
    August 27, 2010 @ 11:10

    Japan really need to ban smoking in public places with a huge price hike as well as provide more anti smoking comercials a,products and councling to prevent the habit from starting back up.

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