Japan has always been a smokers’ paradise, although things are slowly changing. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research revealed a number of interesting facts about smoking in Japan.
Most restaurants in department stores are now all non-smoking, and most of the major chain restaurants are decreasing or even eliminating smoking spaces, although even when there is a separate smoking area, often just one person can soon stink out the whole place out.
Conversely, unless it is a healthy-themed restaurant, privately-owned cafes and restaurants are most likely to be smoking OK. Things are changing for the Olympics but quite half-heartedly. As can be seen in Q1, almost three in four people over seventy are current or ex-smokers, and there are a whole lot of politicians in that age group, so they don’t really seem to care about rocking the boat.
Note that due to excessive advertising from Japan Tobacco, public perception of the largest smoking problem has been twisted to mean accidentally poking kids with cigarettes as illustrated by this advert: