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Monday, November 09, 2009

Men's smoking rate in Japan at record-low 36.8%

TOKYO —

The smoking rate among men in Japan has fallen to a record-low 36.8% since the survey of its kind was launched in 1986, while the rate among women stood at 9.1%, dropping below 10% for the first time since 2001, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Monday. The rate among the men and women in total was 21.8% in the survey conducted a year ago, down 5.9 percentage points in five years.
   
The percentage of smokers who want to quit smoking was 28.5% for men and 37.4% for women. The ministry attributed the smoking rate decrease to rising health consciousness and introduction of ‘‘taspo’’ smart cards in July last year, which are only issued to people aged 20 or older and enable holders to buy cigarettes at vending machines.

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