Hoaxes & Rumors

Real or Hoax: Photo of Japan Smoking Cones

Real or Hoax: Photo of Japan Smoking Cones

A photo shows a restaurant which allegedly offers smoking “cones” for its patrons in Japan. Is this image real or fake?

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It’s Probably Fake.

Although we couldn’t find the original source of this image, we were able to track down postings of this exact photo as far back as May, 2010. It’s possible that it likely originated earlier. It has most often been accompanied by stories of a “new solution” to smoking in restaurants, and also allegedly shows a “smoking zone” in Japanese restaurants.

There are two primary issues which bring us to the conclusion that the photo is probably fake. First, the light pattern is exactly the same on each of the cones. This indicates that the cones were copied and pasted when digitally creating this image. Second, there appears to be no evidence – no other photos or news reports – to corroborate the existence of these smoking cones, or smoking “hoods” as some have called them.

We have enlarged and cropped two of the cones to show how the light patterns line up, which they should not do if places this far apart in a room of this size.

Those old enough to remember the 1960s TV show “Get Smart” will instantly make the connection between these smoking cones and the “Cone of Silence” featured on several episodes of that series.

2015 Satire

In October 2015, a satire piece by low-brow fake news website Now8News used the image, but with a superimposed McDonald’s logo. That false story claimed that McDonald’s locations in Colorado were opening Marijuana-friendly sections.


Bottom Line

We’re not sure if this photo was meant as a joke or as an artist’s conception of an idea, but the lack of corroborating evidence along with analysis of the image leads us to believe it’s fake.

The smoking cones were used in a 2015 satire piece about weed-friendly sections in Colorado McDonald’s locations.

Can you tell us anything about the photo of the smoking cones above? Drop us a comment below!

Updated October 10, 2015
Originally published January 2013

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  • Marc

    It’s fake. Look at the pod hanging from the ceiling top left. The connection to the ceiling is the wrong angle. I also haven’t been able to find any other photo’s.

  • Cassarah Love Ya Peony

    Also look at the cone all the way to the left that is suppose to be up by the ceiling. It has the same view through it as the one that is around the woman smoking. (like the curtains and the chair) Yet that pod is not in front of the curtained windows, nor is it low enough for a chair to be seen through it.

  • JD

    These are from a tv show or movie. If I could give you more information than that, I would.

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