Mind your "smoking manners": the tobacco industry tactics to normalize smoking in Japan

Kobe J Med Sci. 2013 Nov 9;59(4):E132-40.


The tobacco industry has adapted its promotional strategies as tobacco-control measures have increased. This paper describes the tobacco industry's strategies on smoking manners and illustrates how these interfere with tobacco-control policy in Japan where tobacco control remains weak. Information on the tobacco industry's promotional strategies in Japan was collected through direct observation, a review of tobacco industry documents and a literature review. The limitation of the study would be a lack of industry documents from Japan as we relied on a database of a U.S. institution to collect internal documents from the tobacco industry. Japan Tobacco began using the manners strategies in the early 1960s. Collaborating with wide range of actors -including local governments and companies- the tobacco industry has promoted smoking manners to wider audiences through its advertising and corporate social responsibility activities. The tobacco industry in Japan has taken advantage of the cultural value placed on manners in Japan to increase the social acceptability of smoking, eventually aiming to diminish public support for smoke-free policies that threatens the industry's business. A stronger enforcement of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is critical to counteracting such strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Sociological Factors*
  • Tobacco Industry / methods*