Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tobacco environment

Clif sent me a Grist Earth Day opinion piece published today which frames the Ban the Butts campaign he is involved in developing. The message is simple: not only is it lethal for humans to smoke tobacco cigarettes, but it's really bad for the natural environment too; if you don't see a need to quit for your lungs, quit for Mother Earth.

This reminded me of the Tobacco Police in the centre of Tokyo, where smoking in the streets is prohibited (except in specially designated little ghettos where smokers gather around huge outdoor ashtrays). Aged policemen patrol the streets of the Shinjuku business area to remind smokers that they can be fined if found smoking in the streets.

Whenever I can, I take photos of Tokyo tobacco policemen because I find them kind of cool in a way. But the paradox is that Tokyo has one of the most permissive indoor tobacco control regulations; even today it's hard to find a non-smoking table in the city's restaurants and bars.

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