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Letters |

Tourism and Smoke-Free Restaurant Ordinances

Hiroshi Noto, MD
JAMA. 2000;283(13):1686-1687. doi:10.1001/jama.283.13.1685.
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To the Editor: Dr Glantz and Ms Charlesworth1 reported that after smoke-free restaurant ordinances were enacted in California, the number of tourists traveling there from Japan increased. However, they failed to address several confounding factors, and the question remains whether implementation of such laws may actually increase the number of international tourists.

As shown in Figure 1,2 the percentage of smokers in Japan has been decreasing slightly since 1995. This confounding factor may explain in part the result of the study. In fact, smoke-free American-style coffee shops have been gaining popularity, and their number has been increasing in Japan.

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Figure. Smokers in Japan and Exchange Rate of Japanese Yen to US Dollar
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