The 2020 Olympics will be hosted in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese federal government has just recently passed a new legislation which will prohibit all public smoking including in the Olympic stadium. The reason for this is to ensure that everyone will be able to have a pleasant environment to watch the Olympics. A positive side of this legislation is that they allowed some nicotine heating devices to be used, and some forms of vaping as well. Of course, devices with minimal vapor production is allowed, and not super mods which chuck clouds, as that will definitely make the environment not family-friendly.
The question here is that is this going to be fly once the Olympic starts and the Japanese nation is flooded with millions of international people? In the perception of anyone outside of Japan, it can be a very confusing place. However, once you have learned the rules, Japan is a smoker’s paradise to some extent.
The laws regarding smoking are essentially reversed compared to other countries such as the United States. For example, it is illegal to smoke cigarettes in the sidewalks of Tokyo, however, if you are visiting nightclubs, bars, or restaurants, you can smoke freely as long as the owner of the establishment has no objections. This literally makes it a “smoke anywhere” zone as long as you are not causing any trouble.
Smoking is quite normalized in Japan, but with this new legislation, don’t expect to be able to light up while anywhere near the stadium. For those who vape, feel free to bring along your device so as long as it is something conservative and not a 250 watts cloud chucker.
Medical vaping is also allowed in Japan, as they coin that term for smokers who are trying to quit. Electronic cigarettes are also legally classified as a form of medical technology. A bad side of this is that visitors to Japan who are looking to purchase any vaping related products such as coils, liquids, or mods will be impossible without a doctor’s prescription. So naturally, stock up on whatever tools and juices you may need when traveling to Japan for the Olympics.
The Japanese government also has a weird relationship with Big Tobacco. As stated previously, smoking outdoors is technically legal, however, in establishments such as day-care centers and schools face a heavier restriction. Despite the national smoking rate dropping steadily in Japan, the purchase and sales of heat not burn devices have rocketed to as much as 500 percent.
One of the reasons for these odd smoking laws lies with the fact that the Japanese government owns approximately 30 percent of Japan Tobacco, one of the world’s largest Big Tobacco companies. Although vaping is tobacco-free, “heat-not-burn” (HNB) devices rely on heating rather than burning tobacco leaves.
Another reason why the Japanese government does not have strict restrictions on vaping is that they themselves have a share in the vaping market. The sales of Ploom tech’s “heat-not-burn” (HNB) devices is owned by Japan Tobacco, and this device holds the most percentage of the vaping market in Japan. Obviously, they would not want to restrict something that they are making money off, which spells good news for vapers and smokers alike in Japan!