Last updated: June 1, 2020
The Health Promotion Act asks managers of public places to “try to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent passive smoking exposure.” Article 71 of the Industrial Safety and Health Law (Act No. 57 of 1972) obliges employers to “endeavor to create a comfortable working environment.” Ministry of Labour, Health and Welfare Notification No. 59 implements Article 71 and calls on employers to take “measures, taken as necessary, against smoking, such as designating smoking areas within the workplace, etc.”
The language of the laws do not outright require employers and mangers to ban or restrict smoking, but rather “to endeavor” and “to try” to take measures “as necessary.” Because there is no legal requirement, there is no agency responsible for enforcement.
To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should impose a duty to enforce smoke free laws and designate an agency with enforcement power.