• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of tobcontTobacco ControlVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Tob Control. Jun 2000; 9(2): 193–200.
PMCID: PMC1748331

Effects of market liberalisation on smoking in Japan


OBJECTIVE—To document the effect of the liberalisation of the Japanese tobacco market on Japanese smoking rates and on Japanese tobacco industry practices.
DATA SOURCE—Asahi Shimbun (major daily newspaper) from 1980 to 1996.
STUDY SELECTION—Review of media coverage on the effects of market liberalisation following the imposition of the USA's section 301 trade sanction.
DATA SYNTHESIS—The opening of Japan's tobacco market to foreign cigarette companies stalled a decline in smoking prevalence. Smoking rates among young women increased significantly, and also appear to be on the rise among adolescents. Aggressive marketing and promotional activities by US and Japanese tobacco companies in response to trade liberalisation appear responsible for these adverse trends. Steep increases in sales through vending machines were also possible contributors to the rising smoking prevalence among adolescents. On the positive side, market liberalisation indirectly promoted smoking control efforts in Japan, by causing an anti-smoking movement to coalesce.
CONCLUSION—Market liberalisation in Japan played a significant role in increasing smoking prevalence among young women and adolescents while helping to transform the issue of smoking in Japan from a matter of individual choice to a public health problem.

Keywords: Japan; market liberalisation

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (143K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wynder EL, Fujita Y, Harris RE, Hirayama T, Hiyama T. Comparative epidemiology of cancer between the United States and Japan. A second look. Cancer. 1991 Feb 1;67(3):746–763. [PubMed]
  • MacKenzie TD, Bartecchi CE, Schrier RW. The human costs of tobacco use (2) N Engl J Med. 1994 Apr 7;330(14):975–980. [PubMed]
  • Connolly GN. Worldwide expansion of transnational tobacco industry. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1992;(12):29–35. [PubMed]
  • Barry M. The influence of the U.S. tobacco industry on the health, economy, and environment of developing countries. N Engl J Med. 1991 Mar 28;324(13):917–920. [PubMed]
  • Mackay J. US tobacco export to Third World: Third World War. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1992;(12):25–28. [PubMed]
  • Kawabata T, Maruya N, Nakamura M, Oshima A, Hiyama T, Minagawa K, Nishioka N, Mochizuki Y, Okajima Y, Ichimura K, et al. [Smoking and alcohol drinking behavior among Japanese adolescents--results from "Japan Know Your Body Study"]. Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 1991 Dec;38(12):885–899. [PubMed]
  • Osaki Y, Minowa M. [Nationwide survey of smoking prevalence among school students in Japan]. Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 1993 Jan;40(1):39–47. [PubMed]
  • Osaki Y, Minowa M. Cigarette smoking among junior and senior high school students in Japan. J Adolesc Health. 1996 Jan;18(1):59–65. [PubMed]

Articles from Tobacco Control are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group