Assessing the impact of the ordinance banning smoking on selected streets in Kobe City, Hyogo, Japan

Kobe, Japan
August 2012

WHO Kobe Centre

The WHO Kobe Centre is currently conducting a survey to assess impacts of the municipal street smoking ban ordinance in Kobe city in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Pharmacy of Kobe Pharmaceutical University. Professor Yamato from University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan and the students from Kwansei Gakuin University "Cross-Cultural College – Canada-Japan Collaborative Program" have also been contributing to the project. Most of the ordinances on street smoking in Japan were implemented for environmental purposes; however, it is reasonable to expect that, properly implemented they could have health impacts, such as reducing exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) on streets and facilitating smoking cessation among smokers.

Expected outcome of the survey include prevalence of smokers among pedestrians, number of smokers and cigarette butts, observed smoking behaviours, characteristics of the no-street-smoking zones, self-reported exposure to SHS, self-reported change in smoking behaviour, perception on smoking and tobacco control regulations and level of outdoor exposure to SHS on selected streets. As a result of analysis, the evidence gained through this research should help to further promote smoke-free environments and disseminate their benefits in cities with similar outdoor smoking restrictions.

A group of volunteer students from the Kobe Pharmaceutical University have taken the responsibility to carry most of the measures in the selected areas of Kobe city. They have participated with enthusiasm in the project, while having to face the challenging of the summer; they have shown great determination to make a contribution to the well-being of their fellow citizenships in Kobe.

WHO Kobe Centre