Although, Japan is still something of a smoker’s paradise compared to other developed countries, there are signs that times are a’changing with an increase in prices and no-smoking areas sprouting up across the land.

Anti-smoking groups often use dramatic stories and images to try and frighten or disgust people out of smoking tobacco. However, one simple poster hanging in a smoking section in Shinjo City, Yamagata Prefecture sends a chilling message of love to all their nicotine addicts.

A photo of the poster was uploaded to Twitter with a caption that read, “a poster for smokers at Shinjo unlike any other.” The poster itself says:

“Did you know? 360,860,000 yen was paid in tobacco tax in Shinjo City. All you smokers out there, thank you very much.”

I suppose the message is open to interpretation, but it seems dripping with the sarcastic message of, “thanks for the free money, suckers.”

Maybe it’s just me, but the poster does come at a time when people in Japan are bracing themselves for a sales tax hike in April. You could also argue (as many commentors had) that the medical costs from smoking still outweigh the tax revenue mentioned in the poster.

Still, while most commentors seemed unchanged in the attitude for or against smoking there were more than a few who applauded the public service message saying “they should put these across the country.” There were even a few not-so-civic-minded smokers who openly admitted, “I want to stop smoking,” so perhaps the message will prompt a few to stop wasting their hard-earned money and give their lungs a break.

Source: My Game News Flash (Japanese)