McDonald's in Japan to phase out smoking areas as smokers decrease at record rates
McDonald's Japan, the largest restaurant chain in the country, with over 3,500 stores, has announced it will phase out smoking as it begins to revamp or replace 1,050 of its outlets.
For local residents of Tokyo the annoyance of unclearly marked smoking zones in many cafes and restuarants, or non-smoking areas seperated only by demarkations on the floor, it will come as a welcome relief.
Non-smoking areas have become increasingly common in Tokyo in recent years, with bans on streets around many train stations and an increasing number of smokers-only areas popping up around the city.
Chiyoda ward in Tokyo even has a patrol that can fine offenders, while a series of advertisements called Smoker's Style has been on display on many train lines sporadically throughout the last few years teaching courtesy to non-smokers.
A report yesterday by Medical News revealed that Japan has in fact set a world record of 15 consecutive years of a declining percentage of the population considering themselves to be smokers.
Japan Tobacco reports that in 1966 when records began, 49.4 percent of the population were smokers, while today it is 23.9 percent.