Japanese College Says It Gained’t Rent Academics Who Smoke

A college in Japan says it has stopped hiring college members who smoke except they promise to stop, a once-unthinkable choice in a rustic that has only recently cracked down on its heavy-smoking methods.

Nagasaki College mentioned the coverage, introduced final week, was a part of its bigger antismoking push. Final 12 months, the college introduced it might ban smoking on campus beginning in August, and mentioned it deliberate to ban the possession of things associated to smoking beginning in April 2020.

“Our job as a college is to nurture human assets, and we really feel obliged to discourage individuals in opposition to smoking as some corporations have begun not recruiting people who smoke,” Shigeru Kono, president of the college, mentioned final week, in response to The Asahi Shimbun.

A college spokesman, Yusuke Takakura, mentioned the college was assured the coverage wouldn’t run afoul of discrimination legal guidelines.

“Now we have reached a conclusion that people who smoke should not match for the training sector,” Mr. Takakura mentioned in an interview with Agence France-Presse.

Nagasaki is just not alone in its efforts. On Tuesday, Seigo Kitano, the president of Oita College, mentioned the college had “put precedence on nonsmokers” in hiring. Of 161 college members employed this spring, solely three have been people who smoke, he mentioned.

Such steps would have lengthy been thought of unlikely in Japan, which for many years was thought of a pleasant place for people who smoke with few restrictive legal guidelines or public well being efforts.

However the nationwide smoking fee hit a low in 2018, in response to Japan Tobacco, a multinational tobacco big partially owned by the federal government. At its peak in 1966, 49 p.c of the grownup inhabitants smoked, together with 84 p.c of males. However final 12 months simply 18 p.c of adults smoked, together with 28 p.c of males.

These numbers are nonetheless excessive by worldwide requirements, which has involved many as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympics. The Worldwide Olympic Committee requires a smoke-free setting for the Video games, and town has complied with a smoking ban at indoor and out of doors Olympic venues.

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