TOKYO: A law banning indoor smoking in principle fully took effect in Japan on Wednesday as the country is racing to protect people from passive smoking going into the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The revised health promotion law bans smoking at restaurants, hotels and offices, with offenders facing penalties. The law partially went into effect last year, banning smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices.
Cigar bars, private homes and hotel rooms are exempt from the ban.
In addition, customers can smoke at existing small restaurants run by individuals on condition that they have a capital of 50 million yen or less and a floor space of 100 square meters or less and put a sign at their entrance that smoking is allowed.
The revised law also allows smoking at restaurants only in designated rooms with exhaust equipment meeting certain requirements.
Eating and drinking are not permitted in such rooms where people aged 19 or younger are not allowed. Smoking with heat-not-burn cigarettes are also allowed only in such rooms.
Penalties include a fine of up to 300,000 yen on people who smoke at nonsmoking places and a fine of up to 500,000 yen on facility operators who set up ashtrays at nonsmoking places.
Separately, a Tokyo metropolitan government ordinance fully took effect on Wednesday banning smoking in principle at all restaurants employing workers.