Japan’s smoking rate falls

    The prevalence of smoking among Japan’s adult population fell from 19.3 percent in May 2016 to 18.2 percent in May 2017, according to Japan Tobacco Inc.’s annual survey.

    Smoking among men fell from 29.7 percent to 28.2 percent, while smoking among women fell from 9.7 percent to 9.0 percent.

    Based on population figures provided by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan’s smoking population fell from 20.27 million in 2016 to 19.17 million in 2017.

    The number of male smokers fell from 14.98 million to 14.26 million, while the number of female smokers fell from 5.28 million to 4.91 million. As of April 1, 2017, Japan’s population comprised 50.56 million men and 54.53 million women, while, as of April 1, 2016, it comprised 50.45 million men and 54.45 million women.

    The JT study has been carried out annually since 1965.

    The May 2017 survey was conducted using a stratified two-stage sampling method. Questionnaires were mailed to about 32,000 adult men and women (20 years or older) nationwide. JT collected 19,875 (61.9 percent) valid responses from the total population surveyed.

    In publishing the results, JTI said it was of the view that the smoking rate in Japan had been and was on a declining trend due to various factors, including the country’s aging population, people’s growing awareness of the health risks associated with smoking, the tightening of smoking-related regulations, and tax and price hikes.

    JT said it would ‘continue its efforts to realize a society in which smokers and non-smokers can co-exist in harmony’.