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Kitsch Report

Japanese smokers may have the last puff yet. Nikko Travel, a Tokyo-based touring agency, recently began offering overseas holiday packages expressly for smokers. Bucking the trend toward butting out on domestic and international flights, the nicotine-positive tour operator is selling packages that book seats on two holdouts in the smoke-free movement: Malaysia Airlines and Alitalia. Nikko Travel president Kazuhiro Kunoki, who, like more than half of Japanese men is a smoker, says the cigarette-friendly initiative was launched because: "we want to respect the rights of people who smoke." Along with respect, participants get their choice of destinations like Milan, Cairo, Shanghai and Los Angeles, plus hotels and restaurants with smoking areas. Nikko Travel is pricing the cigarette packages--such as a 13-day blowout through France for $3,670--at equivalent rates to its regular tours. While Japanese airlines prohibit smoking on international flights (except for some Japan Air System routes to Southeast Asia), MAS permits puffing on all its flights to Japan.

S T O R I E S :

Short Cuts: Sept. 30 1998 marks the final day for Japanese smokers to light up on domestic flights (Sept. 14, 1998)

Short Cuts: It's official: all U.S. airlines are now completely smoke-free (Feb. 8, 1998)


July 26, 1999

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Japanese smokers may have the last puff yet

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