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Leading cigarette brands in Japan 2018, by sales volume

Most popular cigarette brands in Japan in 2018, by sales volume (in billion sticks)

by Statista Research Department, last edited Sep 24, 2019
Leading cigarette brands in Japan 2018, by sales volume Being referred to as a smokers’ paradise, smoking in Japan is historically less restricted than in many other OECD countries due to a lack of binding laws controlling secondhand smoke on a national level. As of 2018, almost 18 percent of the Japanese adult population were smokers, with Japan Tobacco’s Seven Stars being the most popular cigarette brand among them, selling just over five billion cigarette sticks in that year. Seven Stars was launched in early 1969 as the first cigarette brand with charcoal filters, using mainly domestically produced leaf tobacco.

What makes Japan a “smokers’ paradise”?


The Japanese tobacco industry used to be a government-run monopoly and continues to be partly state-owned. Therefore, calls for stricter smoking restrictions often faced opposition through governmental organizations, pro-smoking lobbyists and influential supporters within the food services sector, where smoking is still exceptionally common. However, cigarette sales continue to decline in Japan. Tobacco manufacturers sold about 146 billion sticks in 2017, down from almost 246 billion sold cigarettes a decade earlier.


Will Japan’s future continue to be smoky?


With the Summer Olympics 2020 set to become the smokiest Games in decades, the country passed its first national smoking ban inside public facilities in summer 2018. However, the new law, which will be implemented in early 2020, excludes a variety of smaller restaurants and bars, lowering the risk of secondhand smoking only to some extent.
The growing awareness of health risks associated with smoking as well as distinctively higher taxes for conventional cigarettes than for smokeless tobacco contribute to two entirely different developments: while an increasing number of people are turning away from their smoldering habits, e-cigarettes and e-liquids are gaining popularity among Japanese, who are not quite ready to quit the stick yet.
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Most popular cigarette brands in Japan in 2018, by sales volume (in billion sticks)

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