News Thursday August 12, 2010

Smoking ban set to hit Japanese McDonalds

The McDonalds restaurant chain is set to implement new rules that will see smoking banned at many of their branches in Japan.

McDonalds has long been the target of health critics. Usually the criticism is due to high calorie junk foods and drinks. However, one of the world’s most famous fast food institutions has this week received acclaim by many campaigners for their new stance on smoking.

New plans have been put in progress that will see many of the company’s Japanese restaurants become smoke-free areas. McDonalds is the largest restaurant chain in the whole of the country, with around 3,500 branches nationwide. They have recently revamped over 1,000 of the stores, of which the majority will be made no-smoking establishments.

Increased awareness

This new move has been made amid increased public awareness around the damaging effects of smoking in Japan. This progressively positive attitude has even seen large tobacco manufacturers Japan Tobacco Inc. invent and market a smokeless cigarette in order to help smokers to quit the habit.

The issue of smoking related illnesses has become increasingly important for a large amount of the world’s nations. These illnesses kill millions of people each year. As a result smoking cessation methods have become ever important, and increasingly progressive.

On March the 1st earlier this year, McDonalds actually put in place a non-smoking policy at all of its 298 Kanagawa-based branches, and this new move will see many more branches follow suit.

Record low

These new rules are a reflection of the progress made by the Japanese government, and public, in clamping down on smoking. New figures revealed this week have revealed that the amount of smokers in the country has now fallen to a record low.

The annual survey has actually been conducted by Japan Tobacco Inc. for the last 45 years. It found that just 23.9% of the population are smoking. This is an incredible figure considering that this number is less than half of the 49.4% of smokers recorded in 1966.

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