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Japan Smoking Rate Falls below 20 Pct for 1st Time

Japan Smoking Rate Falls below 20 Pct for 1st Time

   Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's smoking rate in 2014 fell below 20 pct for the first time since such statistics began in 1965, Japan Tobacco Inc. <2914> said Wednesday.
   The rate decreased for the 19th consecutive year to stand at 19.7 pct, down 1.2 percentage points from the previous year.
   The decline reflected growing health consciousness and a shift away from cigarettes accelerated by the April consumption tax hike from 5 pct to 8 pct.
   The rate for men fell 1.9 points to 30.3 pct, and that for women dropped 0.7 point to 9.8 pct, slipping below 10 pct for the first time.
   The estimated number of smokers stood at 20.59 million, down 1.36 million.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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