Japan’s smoking rate fell to a record low last year, reports NHK World, citing to a government survey.
The health ministry surveyed about 5,700 people aged 20 or over last November.
The percentage of men and women who regularly smoke stood at 16.7 percent. That’s down 1.1 percentage points from a year earlier, and the lowest since the survey began in 1986.
The ratio for men was 27.1 percent, down 11.1 points over the past decade. The figure for women was 7.6 percent, down 3.3 points over the same period.
During the recent virtual Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum, experts attributed Japan’s rapid decline in traditional smoking to the emergence of heated tobacco products.
Of male smokers who participated in the recent survey, 27.2 percent said they use heated tobacco products, while 25.2 percent of female smokers said they do so.
The health ministry aims to lower the smoking rate to 12 percent by fiscal 2022.