All about smoking, cigarettes and tobacco in Japan

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In this article we will see curiosities about cigarettes and tobacco in Japan. Let’s see a little bit about the customs and culture that the Japanese have of smoking cigarettes. We will also see some words and related vocabulary in Japanese.

Cigarettes or tobacco are part of the lives of a large number of Japanese people, and some must imagine that Japan has its strange rules and customs in relation to cigarettes. In the Japanese language, cigarettes are called tabak[たばこ]o.

The History of Smoking in Japan

Why are we going to talk about tobacco? Japan is a country with many smokers, it has even been called a smokers’ paradise. More than 25% of the Japanese population smoked, only that number has dropped below 20% thanks to the government’s incentive.

Smoking has been around for many years in Japan, Shogun even had some specific ideas about creating a formal ceremony or ritual for tobacco (just like the tea ceremony). Smoking a cigarette in Japan even has a large number of customs and rules.  

All about smoking cigarettes or tobacco in Japan

In the past Shogun suggested that when smoking a tobacco offered by a host, you should not smoke until the host has entered the room. When the host offers the cigarette, you can say, “After you,” just like you do at the tea ceremony. In Japan the host can offer a pipe, remember to show humility and thanks.

The Japanese Government was the only tobacco company in Japan until 1985. Even today, the Japanese government manufactures more than 60% of cigarettes in Japan and has several Asian brands. 

All about Tobacco or Cigarette in Japan

For decades, the government has presented posters with suggestions on behavior for smokers. Japan has also made several laws and suggestions such as:

  • Japan suggests the use of portable ashtrays;
  • The obvious suggests that smoking causes health problems;
  • Suggest appropriate social behaviors such as smoking;
  • Smoking is prohibited on the central streets of large cities;
  • Children under 20 years old cannot smoke without authorization from the country;
  • There are specific smoking areas, even on the streets;
  • Smoking in prohibited places can get you fined;
All about smoking cigarettes or tobacco in Japan

A cigarette can be purchased at any convenience store, market, vending machine for about 420 yen (4 USD). A portable ashtray can be purchased for just 100 yen at convenience stores.

Some night restaurants, bars and izakaya allow you to smoke. The smoking rate is around 19.3%. 29.7% of men and 9.7% of women.

Doesn’t smoking in Japan hurt?

Research shows that Japanese people smoke more than Americans but even so the rate of lung cancer is much lower. The risk of a smoker getting lung cancer in Japan is 4 while in America and Europe it ranges from 8 to 19.

Researchers say that this happens due to the Japanese habit of smoking 10 to 15% less a cigarette. Is this ironic because Japanese people don’t leave food on the plate but don’t completely end their cigarettes? Another key factor is that many Japanese people start smoking after the age allowed (20 years) or even later.

While 70% of Americans start smoking before they turn 20.  Japan also has a healthy diet, the habit of drinking tea every day helps to alleviate some problems that smoking causes. Japanese culture is apparently an antioxidant.

All about smoking cigarettes or tobacco in Japan

Other factors may be involved, such as the origin and manufacture of tobacco. Nowadays, electronic cigarettes have become popular in Japan, but their price is close to 10,000 yen (100 USD), but they are found in a convenience store.

Don’t let the fact that smoking is less harmful in Japan cause you to give up fighting tobacco addiction. There are countless losses in addition to health, such as addiction and financial expenses to maintain addiction.

Words related to fumar in Japanese

To end the article, we will leave a list of words related to smoking, smoking and cigarette in the Japanese language. I hope you enjoyed the article, if you liked it share and leave your comments.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
light a cigarette タバコに火を付ける tabako ni hi wo tsukeru 
blessed  煙草の吸い残り tabako no sui nokori 
mouthpiece  シガレットフォルダー shigaretto forudā 
smoking pipe  パイプ paipu 
Matchbox マッチ箱 macchi bako 
cigar  葉巻 hamaki 
cigarette case  シガレットケース shigaretto kēsu 
cigarette  タバコ tabako 
Grey  灰 hai
ashtray  灰皿 haizara 
filter  フィルター firutā 
smoker  喫煙者 kitsuen sha 
smoke  喫煙する kitsuen suru 
smoke  煙 kemuri 
matches  マッチ macchi 
lighter  ライター raitā 
pack  箱 hako 
tobacco  タバコ [煙草] tabako 
smoking  喫煙 kitsuen 
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