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ciggie ban bombshell

At the start of July, smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as pubs and cafes, was banned in England. This followed similar bans in several countries around the world, and many cities too. The fact that a single cigarette contains about 4,000 chemicals, and can cause blindness if stubbed out in an eye, probably went some way towards bringing about these bans.

In Japan, a country where smoking is a popular hobby, like golf and flower arranging, such a ban is out of the question. However, not wanting to appear out of touch with global health trends, Osaka Municipal Government has taken the bold and controversial step of imposing a smoking ban - outside. In the open air. On a single street. Because smoking outside, er, can, well.....

The ban began last week, along a 4km stretch of Midosuji Avenue. A group of former police officers patrol the streets, handing out 1,000yen fines to anyone sucking, inhaling and puffing along the open-air outside not indoors road.

A government official said the ban should greatly reduce incidents of "something or other".

Japanese culture is well known for the way people communicate in an indirect manner, so as not to cause offence or confrontation. This also applies to the health warnings on cigarette packets. The tobacco companies kindly refrain from bothering the Japanese with worrying warnings, I mean, it might be enough to cause them to give up - or smoke more because of the stress they cause.

This translates roughly as: "Well, you know, cigarettes, er, they're a bit.....kind of.....perhaps not as good as......in a way they're rather, how can I say....what I mean is they can be.....if you're not careful....umm.....do you know what tar is?"

However, cigarette packets in the UK are a little more direct....
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On Monday, 23 July, 2007, Blogger Jon Allen said:

That's funny the Korean's are banning smoking outdoors as well.  

On Monday, 23 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Haha funny translation! You should see the cigarette packs in Singapore! Comes with a gruesome picture!! HAHA.  

On Tuesday, 24 July, 2007, Blogger owenandbenjamin said:

They should put a warning label on the cig pack about the risk of blindness due to being stubbed out in the eye. Many of my friends have gone blind in one eye and two of my friends are completely blind due to stubbing out their cigs in their eyes. If only they had been aware of these risks. A warning label might have made all the difference.  

On Tuesday, 24 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why don't we have that here? Oh that's right, gov't kickbacks.  

On Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, Blogger Global Dan said:

It is ur.. well hard to uhh.. comment on this one... I kinda think smoke is alright... but smoking no. NO NO !!! Can anyone teach me the secret handshake now that I have said it???  

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