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Law Indoor smoking ban constitutional

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Yesterday, the Tokyo District Court ruled that an indoor smoking ban does not violate the Constitution. The plaintiff sued the government for 2m JPY in compensation over the revised Health Promotion Law, which took effect in 2020 and bans smoking in indoor settings, including bars and restaurants. He claimed the law indiscriminately restricts the freedom of smoking while dining and violates Article 13 of the Constitution, stipulating that all people should be respected as individuals.

The ruling noted that the legal revisions are aimed at protecting people from suffering serious health damage by inhaling others' cigarette smoke. The court said smoking is banned to a reasonable extent under the law because it excludes outdoor establishments, where smoking is considered less harmful to people. The ruling added that allowing indoor smoking at dedicated outlets would hardly be in line with the purpose of the law, citing the possibility of secondhand smoke filling those establishments.

The situation with cigarette smoke is so much better than it used to be. It always amazed me that in a country where being inconsiderate to others is so strongly frowned upon that people both tolerated cigarette smoke and thought it was acceptable to smoke in enclosed spaces.
I am happy to read this. I would turn that argument on its head, how is the smoker respecting others around them as individuals if they are causing a nuisance. A smoker is at least as much of a nuisance as someone speaking loudly on a cell phone in a public setting and that is universally frowned on in Japan as well.
Is there an across the board ban now? Or are there exceptions?
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Is there an across the board ban now? Or are there exceptions?

Yes, smoking clubs (whatever this is) and "grandfathered" restaurants smaller than 100 square metres.


Indoor smoking ban
Mandatory indoor smoking bans apply to schools, childcare, hospitals, clinics and government administrative buildings throughout Japan. More lenient smoking restrictions apply to other buildings such as workplaces, food establishments and judicial buildings, where indoor smoking is not allowed but a designated smoking room may be constructed, provided access by minors is restricted and no food or drink is served inside. The indoor smoking ban does not apply to smoking clubs or grandfathered food establishments smaller than 100m2, provided no minors are allowed to enter the premises. Local governments in Japan have the power to enact stricter smoking bylaws. Some prefectures such as Tokyo, Kanagawa and Hyogo have stricter indoor smoking bylaws, although designated indoor smoking areas are typically allowed.

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