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Japan's male smoking rate drops below 30% for 1st time

Japan's male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time in 2019, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 percentage points from the previous study in 2016, according to a health ministry survey.
The national livelihood survey, conducted every three years by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, found that the proportion of women who smoke fell 0.7 point to 8.8 percent in 2019.
Among age groups, those in their 20s marked the largest decrease, for both men and women, with the proportion of men smoking falling by 4.1 percentage points to 27 percent and the female smokers' rate dropping 1.9 points to 8.3 percent.
Men and women in their 40s smoked the most, with rates of 37.6 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively.
Japan's male smoking rate has been on the decline since hitting 48.4 percent in 2001.
Growing awareness of the effects of smoking on health is likely to be a key driver of the downward trend. In April, a law banning people from smoking indoors in principle at restaurants, offices, hotel lobbies and other places in Japan open to the general public, also came into effect.
The survey of people aged 20 or over counted as smokers those who smoke "everyday" or "sometimes."


© KYODO
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