2012 Volume 39 Issue 6 Pages 815-820
Any employer must be compliant with not only regional legislations and customs but also international conventions as well. Marubeni, one of the leading companies in Japan, has kept these rules while successfully expanding its business all over the world. Under the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control, smoking in the public area has been prohibited worldwide for the purpose of passive smoking prevention. In Japan, actions for passive smoking prevention have been recommended to be introduced in public areas under the Health Promotion Act 2003. Marubeni started its tobacco control in the workplace in 1994. Smoking in the office areas has been prohibited since then. Nevertheless, smoking was permitted in the enclosed meeting rooms. After the implementation of Health Promotion Act 2003, additional actions for passive smoking prevention and tobacco control have been taken in Marubeni. Actions include a completely smoke free office, removal of tobacco automatic vending machines, and the installation of several separated smoking rooms equipped with forced air exhaust systems. The aim of actions was to ensure the coexistence of smokers and non-smokers' rights at the workplace. These actions were well accepted by most of employees. However, there still remain problems concerning passive smoking prevention and health consequences of smokers. Further actions should be followed to seek a more comfortable workplace.