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Vaping Banned at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo

Vaping Banned at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo

If you’re a vaper planning a trip to the Tokyo Summer Olympics next year, you might want to leave your gear at home. According to the Associated Press, an Olympics committee announced that vaping will be banned at all indoor and outdoor events, and within the perimeters of related venues.   

In late February, organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics announced that all vapor products and tobacco products would be prohibited at both indoor and outdoor events. The ban will cover all venues within the Olympic games. The organizers are also consulting with local government on measures concerning smoking and vaping on streets outside the venues.

However, there will be exceptions, and the ban will affect spectators the most. According to Kyodo News, all sites with spectators will be completely smoke-free and vape-free, but sites that won’t have spectators, like the Athletes' Village, will allow for smoking and vaping are in designated areas "installed distant from areas where stakeholders will pass."

With so many folks traveling from all over the globe to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, this blanket ban on vapor and tobacco products is sure to create confusion. When tickets are sold, the organizers said that they intend on informing the public. They also expect to face challenges trying to get foreign spectators to follow the prohibition.

Japan already tightly restricts conventional vapor products in everyday life. Liquids containing nicotine are banned from use by the general public, meaning vapers only have a nicotine-free option. For this reason, "heat not burn" products that are a hybrid of smoking and vaping, using a heating tube to create vapor from PG-soaked cigarettes, are popular in Japan.

Japan’s government owns about a third of the stock to Japan Tobacco Inc., and has a fairly permissive attitude toward smoking. However, that may be changing. In 2018, lawmakers passed a revision to the Health Promotion Law, which will ban indoor smoking from schools, hospitals and public institutions in the summer of 2019.

Starting in April 2020, smoking will be also prohibited in restaurants, bars, offices and hotels other than guestrooms. But a few loopholes have already been poked in the law, as these spaces will also have special rooms designated for smokers that will not have food or drinks. Additionally, larger establishments (worth at least 50 million yen, about $443,000, or with customer seating areas exceeding 100 square meters) will be exempt from this law if they display "smoking allowed" signs.

“Countering passive smoking has long been a concern,” Keiko Nakayama, a Tokyo city government health official, said in a statement to The Associated Press. “We would like to push for approving more anti-smoking measures, so people stay healthy longer.”

The ban of vaping and smoking at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games could be a real headache for vapers from all over the world. With Japan already a restrictive country when it comes to vaping, the chance that vaping devices will be confiscated is already already unfortunately likely. Be aware and be safe if you’re going to the Olympics!