Japan – Although I am used from Germany that smoking is not allowed everywhere, just to protect the non-smoker from this unhealthy stuff, Japan has his own view of it. Nearly everywhere they have their designated smoking areas. Which is pretty fine, cause so you won’t find any stubs on the street and as well the non-smokers are happy. That’s what I thought.
Also at our university building they have those areas. But then I found this sign and was wondering why you are not allowed to smoke while you are walking?! Result of asking different Japanese: It is not allowed to smoke everywhere and especially not while you are walking because you might burn someone else with your cigarette. And because of health issues? No, actually not. The law was designed to keep the fire away from houses, and the people walking next to you. Little bit afraid of fire, they also use wet towels or water in their ashtrays – sometimes a little bit disgusting – but at least you don’t have to check if you put of your cigarette correctly.
So when you come to Japan and be a smoker, be aware to stand still to satisfy your addiction. And for the non-smoker, don’t care about your lungs, care about your skin 😉 So for different reasons these laws hit to birds with one stone.