The life expectancy of male smokers at age 40 is 3 1/2 years shorter than that of nonsmokers, according to a health ministry study released Tuesday.
The heavier a man smokes, the shorter his life expectancy. The figure was 0.9 years shorter for men smoking at least two packs of cigarettes a day than for those smoking less than a pack a day, the study by a group at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry showed.
Fortunately, attitudes towards smoking are changing rapidly here. When we first arrived, no-smoking areas were few and far between (and pretty meaningless, given the absence of any sort of separation from smoking areas). Now they are more and more common, and there are increasingly restrictions on smoking in public. It's been quite a turnaround, in fact. Who says the Japanese are conservative and cannot change?