Prohibition a step closer

| October 16, 2017

A by-law aimed at protecting children from passive smoking – including in private places such as their homes – has been enacted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, Japan, according to an editorial in the Japan Times.

What is said to be the first prefecture-level measure of its kind calls on people not to smoke inside rooms or vehicles in which children under 18 are present.

The by-law calls on Tokyoites to try to ensure that children are not subjected to passive smoking anywhere. It calls on parents not to smoke in rooms where children are present. Parents are urged not to let children enter facilities that have no measures to prevent passive smoking or designated smoking sections. In addition, the by-law calls on people not to smoke inside cars in which children are riding, on streets near parks, plazas, schools and facilities promoting children’s welfare, and similar facilities. And it calls on people not to smoke on streets within seven meters of pediatric clinics or dental clinics for children.

Although the by-law is not backed by penalties, the editorial described it a meaningful step forward that other local governments should follow.

The editorial said that the by-law sought to protect the health of children through the ‘Law on Prevention of Child Abuse’.

It was endorsed by all parties in the assembly except the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In that sense, it was said to be a product of an assembly election in July, in which Tomin First, promising to seek measures against passive smoking, upstaged the LDP as the largest party.

The LDP opposed the by-law on the grounds that regulating people’s private lives, such as their smoking habits at home, required careful discussion.

It said the by-law, which is due to take effect in April, was being hastily enacted.

How it is observed by Tokyo residents will be reviewed after one year.

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Category: Breaking News, People, Regulation

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