The curbed behavior puts Japan on the lower end of the scale compared to other corners of the world. About 20.6% of all U.S. adults smoke, according to the Center for Disease Control in 2009. Over in Europe, Greece has the highest smoking rate with the proportion of smokers exceeding 40%, according to a European Commission study published in 2010. The same study said the smoking rate among the French came in at 34% and 28% in the U.K. But boasting the world’s largest population, China also has the most smokers – over 300 million.
Japan Tobacco, the country’s leading cigarette maker known as JT, attributes the decline to the graying population, greater awareness about the health risks as well as tightening smoking restrictions. Whereas Japanese smokers could light up with abandon just about anywhere in the past, new regulations have scaled back smoking spots.
(The Wallstreet Journal)