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Anti-smoking group zeroes in on Kokusai Street

Date Posted: 2007-11-01

Naha City’s ‘Healthy Naha 21’ campaign is in full swing, and a project team has moved onto Kokusai Street to encourage citizens to kick the smoking habit.

The Healthy Naha 21 campaign is designed to promote healthier lifestyles to protect citizens. The initial Kokusai Street effort was concentrated around restaurants, where volunteers told citizens to try to stop smoking, or at least choose the time and place to do so away from others.

The project workers circulated flyers and brochures to passers-by and customers in restaurants. Yoshiko Kudaka, director of a passive smoking group, says “Kokusai Street has wonderful restaurants, and we want everybody to enjoy good food and good drinks without smoking.” Kudaka said “it’s our duty to protect citizen’s healthy lives.”

Kudaka called upon restaurant owners to recognize the importance of smoke free environments. The owners countered that “smoking is an individual freedom.” Kudaka’s group argues “smokers do have that freedom, but not in places interfering with people’s healthy lives.”

Restaurant owners contend many of their customers want to smoke, and would not patronize their establishments if it were banned.

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