Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Yes, I'm a smoker. I've tried many times to give up cigarettes, but I can't do it. I'm weak. I'm a slave to an evil, filthy habit. Living in Japan, it's even more difficult to quit, because Japan is, well, smoker's heaven! A pack of smokes costs just 320 yen (about 3-4 dollars, depending on where you live), and that's after a recent tax hike, which resulted in Japan Tobacco, the world's third largest cigarette company, recording a 60 percent rise in profits in the most recent quarter. Of course the government (like all governments) pays careful lip service to educating people about the dangers of smoking, but the fact is that smokes are a major money cow for governments. Heh, the Japanese government is actually the biggest shareholder in Japan Tobacco (it holds 67.77 percent of issued stock).
Anyway, the Japanese are nothing if not polite, so I've included a couple of nifty graphics from a series sponsored by Japan Tobacco on smoking etiquette. [Very odd. I originally had a link to the Japan Tobacco site here, but just after posting this it went down...]