Photo/IllutrationAdults indulge in their habit while a child plays at a park in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward in 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Tokyo metropolitan assembly is set to pass an ordinance Oct. 5 to prohibit smoking in private homes and cars if there are children around.

The idea, at this stage largely symbolic as the ordinance would not carry penalties for violators, is to protect youngsters from second-hand smoke.

But it is indicative of a wider movement to make Tokyo smoke-free in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympic Games that the capital will host. Moves are already under way to ban smoking in restaurants and other public spaces in Tokyo.

The assembly's welfare committee approved the measure by a majority vote Oct. 3. It is expected to be passed and enacted at the assembly's plenary session Oct. 5.

It will be the first such ordinance at prefectural level to curtail smoking in private spaces.

The bill is the initiative of Tomin First no Kai (Tokyo residents first association) that was recently formed by Yuriko Koike, the governor of Tokyo, Komeito and the Democratic Party.

Essentially, the ordinance would oblige smokers to refrain from indulging in their habit in the presence of minors, or those under the age of 18.

Initially, it was proposed that the ordinance simply ban smoking in cars if there are children inside. But this was fiercely opposed on grounds it was intrusive.

Parents or other guardians will also be obliged to steer their kids away from facilities where no measures are in place to prevent secondhand smoke, although no penalties will be imposed.

During the Oct. 3 voting, members of the Liberal Democratic Party cautioned that the assembly should remain wary about poking its nose into ordinary households.