Smoking has been long known as a ‘cool’ habit. Individuals would start smoking from different reasons and once they have started, it is very difficult to quit. Specialists have shown that the body becomes addicted to the nicotine contained in tobacco and this makes quitting very difficult, if not impossible, as well as it transforms otherwise healthy individuals in addicts. Not many people regard smoking as an addiction and most of them would say that they can quit whenever they want but this is not true. Smoking in children is even more dangerous because many children start smoking when they are way too young for this type of unhealthy habit. Their lungs will be damaged for the rest of their lives and their chances to quit will diminish with every day that passes and they keep on smoking. Helping to prevent smoking among children is a tremendous job, especially in a world in which smoking is something that apparently everyone wants to do.

The industrialized world brought along a great deal of stress and many people who start smoking say that it is because they think it relieves their stress. In the Japanese city of Nagano, the stress can be felt at every time of the day, as in most Japanese cities. For most individuals smoking is just much easier than considering alternatives to relief the stress such as sporting or mental relaxation. In Nagano, there have been plenty of campaigns against smoking and most of them have worked. If few years ago non-smoking individuals would have to share the smoke with their companions who did smoke, nowadays Nagano provides them with the opportunity of choosing non-smoking bars, hotels and everything else that could make their life more normal.

Passive smoking has been shown to be even more damaging than active smoking and this means that the victims in this story are those who do not smoke. It is not their choice and sometimes they cannot avoid the situation in which they would have to share the same room with smokers. Luckily, the authorities in Nagano have come up with a way in which they would provide non-smokers with more opportunities when it comes to spaces in which smoking is not allowed. It is remarkable that in Europe, more and more of the public places become non-smoking places and it could be that this may be the answer to the problem.


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