In Japan, teen smoking is way down, and annoying teen chatter is apparently up. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on trends for Tokyo teens: they’re still putting their money where their mouth is, but trading cigarette money for cell phone bills:
The connection has been made by health officials in Japan who yesterday announced an unprecedented drop in the rate of smoking among teenagers.
There is “a high chance phone bills are weighing on the money they spend on cigarettes”, said Kenji Hayashi, the head of research at the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry. A survey of 103,500 high school students found the rate of smoking among boys aged 17 and 18 had fallen to 22 per cent last year compared with 37 per cent in two earlier surveys in 1996 and 2000.
Or, as others have noted, maybe earpieces and handsets are replacing smokes as the hip paraphernalia amongst the urbane and orally fixated.
Hat tip: Engadget (where one commenter glibly summarized: “it’s trading lung cancer for brain cancer!)