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Answerman - Why Is There Still So Much Smoking In Anime?


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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: in a van! down by the river!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:28 am Reply with quote
@Paiprince I think Candis is referring to Japanese people with CF, not your average Japanese person.

I don't generally mind smoking in anime, I realize Japan has different standards from America. But in real life, I can't stand it! It's weird because I was a child in the 70's when lots of people still smoked. I remember loving the smell of my father's cigarettes but now don't like being around smokers. I hated going to my in-laws house because they were both heavy smokers and I could never get a good night's sleep at their house. The only way to get away from it was to go outside. Also, now whenever I meet someone who smokes, I can tell right away because of the smell.
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Kutsu



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 570
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:05 pm Reply with quote
I would like proof showing a correlation between watching entertainment with characters smoking and actually picking up smoking yourself. I spent my childhood watching movies, cartoons etc. where characters smoked, heck even children in something like Peter Pan ('What makes the red man red ?') and I've never touched a cigarette in my life with no intention of ever doing so.
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Saffire
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Kutsu wrote:
I would like proof showing a correlation between watching entertainment with characters smoking and actually picking up smoking yourself. I spent my childhood watching movies, cartoons etc. where characters smoked, heck even children in something like Peter Pan ('What makes the red man red ?') and I've never touched a cigarette in my life with no intention of ever doing so.
If you're actually interested, it's not that hard to research the science. But you're conflating correlation with causation, so you might need to study up on that first.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2525
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Kutsu wrote:
I would like proof showing a correlation between watching entertainment with characters smoking and actually picking up smoking yourself.


If it was merely a case of correlation and not causation, well, the whole advertising industry would be a farce, millions spent everyday in advertising that does not push people to consume. Of course causation does not need to have a perfect 1:1 ratio to be useful, so it is not rare that people like you exist that was not swayed by the allure of smoking portrayed on the screen.

I think that the government should have no saying in what people consume (yes, that includes drugs); but at the same time, I think drugs should not be allowed at all to advertise (directly or indirectly) in mass media. Specially when non adults are involved, National Institute on Drug Abuse says that those who start smoking before age 21 have hardest time quitting and that less than 1 in 10 who try to quit succeed. So I would disagree with the "nearly fanatic stance against smoking is just laughable" idea, this is a about public health, not "mature content".
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Sariachan



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 1312
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:16 pm Reply with quote
According to the latest WHO data I could find, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the word, at 84 years overall; the USA is 34th with 79.

Of course there are many reasons for that, but the bottom line is that fiction is fiction, while reality is reality, and it's better to keep the two separated (well, fiction is often based on reality of course, but it shouldn't work the other way around--or at less at a much lesser extend).

Rationality helps in this case; I can't stand real-life smoking, but it can't hurt fictional characters so I don't care to see/read characters smoking; actually, it often adds (either in a negative or positive way, or even both) to their characterization for a number of reasons.
Thankfully, Japan has more freedom of expression when it comes to fictional creations: one of the best character in One Piece, Corazon, wouldn't have been as great if he didn't smoke, and in his case it isn't just a matter of making him look cooler, but much more than that.

What I'm trying to say is that smoking should become less common in fictional media as a natural consequence of it becoming less common in real life, and not the other way around, which doesn't make sense since it results forced and allows less realistic portraits of some kind of characters.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 7483
Location: Wales
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:10 pm Reply with quote
I remember it standing out in one of the .hack// novels that there was a ban on smoking indoors (years before we had a similar ban enforced in the UK, although most workplaces were no smoking anyway) which Tokuoka ignored to the extreme degree that they had to keep replacing his tar-stained monitors.
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