A survey by Japan's health ministry has found that the percent of people in the country who smoke has fallen to new lows.
Last November, the ministry asked about 6,500 men and women across the country who were at least 20 years old about their smoking habits.
29.4 percent of male respondents said they smoke regularly. It was the first time the number fell below 30 percent and the lowest figure since the first survey in 1986.
Only 7.2 percent of female respondents said they smoke. The combined figure for men and women hit a new low of 17.7 percent.
In the last decade, the proportion of those who smoke has fallen 10 percentage points among men, 3.8 percentage points among women, and 6.4 percentage points for men and women combined.
The survey also found that 26.1 percent of male smokers and 39 percent of female smokers want to quit.
Ministry officials said more and more people are aware of the health hazards of smoking. The officials say that measures against passive smoking have also helped reduce the number of smokers.
The ministry aims to reduce the combined figure from 17.7 percent to 12 percent by 2022.