Correlation between coffee and cigarettes


This interesting survey from NTTCom Research looked for a correlation between coffee and cigarettes, in particular how visiting coffee shops might increase exposure to second-hand smoke.

In Japan, most coffee chains are smoking, with each chain and each store having their own particular degree of separation between smoking and non-smoking areas. Starbucks are 100% non-smoking, although those with terraces allow outdoor smoking, Tully’s (home-grown fake Starbucks) and Saint Marcs have enclosed smoking areas with air-tight doors, and Becks and Dotour varies from perfect separation to worst than useless. Most independent shops tend to be cancer-donor wards, although once in a while there are exceptions, so check reviews before you enter!

Note that in Q4, the numbers illustrate that this sample had 17.0% non-smokers, 63.3% ex-smokers, and 19.7% smokers. It looks to me as if the ex-smoker and non-smoker percentages have been switched, or that there was some form of pre-screening, but I cannot see anything in the text to say what exactly is happening.

Here’s a typical small privately-owned coffee shop. The owner probably brews an excellent cup of coffee at a wallet-damaging price, but as you can tell from the ashtrays in the photo, there will no doubt be a couple of regulars in a corner smoking the place out:

Roman Coffee Shop, Matsue, Japan

Research results

Q1: On average, about how many cups of coffee do you drink? (Sample size=1,145)

Five or more per day
Four per day
Three per day
Two per day
One per day
One every two, three days
One per week
Less than that
Don’t drink coffee at all

On average, men drank 0.3 cups per day more than women, and people in their twenties drank 0.9 per day, but the over fifties averaged 2.0 cups per day. Furthermore, smokers drank 2.2 cups per day versus 1.6 per day for non-smokers. Finally, the heaviest drinkers were those paid more that 15,000,000 yen per year, downing 2.5 cups per day, with those on 10 to 15 million yen close behind on 2.0 cups per day.

Q2: About how often do you visit a coffee shop? (Sample size=1,145)

Thrice or more times a day
Twice a day
Once per day
Once every two, three days
Once a week
Almost never

Interestingly, the average daily visit was about 0.11 times with little variation between the sexes and ages, except for men in their twenties, who visited almost four times as often, at 0.41 visits per day. When the sample was split between smokers and non-smokers, the difference became clear; on average smokers visited 0.2 times a day, but non-smokers 0.1 times a day, with the exception being smokers in their twenties, who as above visited around four times as often as other ages of smokers, with 0.9 visits per day. Those on higher salaries were also more likely to visit, but not as often as smokers in their twenties.

Q3: About how long per week are you exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke? (Sample size=1,145)

56 hours or more
36 to 55 hours
21 to 35 hours
6 to 20 hours
1 to 5 hours
Almost never

On average people were exposed to 3.4 hours of second-hand smoke per week. Coffee shop users were exposed to 4.7 hours per week versus 2.5 hours per week for non-smokers. Men in their twenties were most often in smoke clouds, for 8.1 hours per week, and smoking men in their twenties managed 14.9 hours per week. On average, smokers spend 9.2 hours per week in smoke-filled environments, versus 2.0 hours for non-smokers. Finally, smokers paid over 15 million yen per year were also the most exposed, at 26.9 hours per week.

Now, if we cross-reference smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers versus more or less than one hour of second-hand smoke as answered in Q3 (ie “Almost never” versus the rest), we get the following:

Q4: Are you exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke for an hour or more per week? (Sample size=1,145)

Second-hand smoke exposed
Not second-hand smoke exposed


Between the 13th and 20th of September 2017 1,145 members of the NTTCom monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.1% of the sample were female, 7.8% in their twenties, 17.8% in their thirties, 21.5% in their forties, 24.6% in their fifties, and 28.3% aged sixty or older.

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