A proposed amendment to the law promoting public health — featuring measures against passive smoking — includes so many loopholes that it’s doubtful whether the steps will serve their stated purpose. The legislation for the first time provides for fines for people who violate the tightened regulations on indoor smoking in public spaces. But, after a compromise with the tobacco lobby within the Liberal Democratic Party, people are still free to smoke inside a majority of eating/drinking establishments — a major setback from the health ministry’s original plan to ban indoor smoking in all public spaces in principle.



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