It Pays To Not Smoke. Company Awards Non-Smokers 6 Extra Days Off To Compensate For Smoke Breaks

Now there one more good reason to stop smoking. Well, there is in Japan. And that good reason is a week-long paid vacation.

Toyko-based marketing firm Piala is offering their non-smoking employees an extra six days offer per year in exchange for not taking daily smoking breaks.

“We don’t give punishment for smoking,” Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima told CNN Money. “Instead, we offer a benefit for not smoking.”

Apparently, the company got the idea from some resentful employees who left a complaint in the suggestion box.

“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems” Matsushma told The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate”

Instead of taking their own breaks throughout the day to go for a walk, get some coffee, or do what they wanted to, they complained about smokers who take cigarette breaks throughout the day saying that they worked less.

Matsushima explained that smokers would take 15 minutes for each cigarette and would also have to climb back and forth to the office which was on the 29th floor. So, their smoking employees would end up spending about 40 hours a day away from their desks.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Piala CEO Takao Asuka told Kyodo News, according to The Telegraph.

About four out of 42 smokers on staff have given up smoking since the new initiative was passed and about 30 employees have taken their extra days.

About 1 in 5 Japanese adults smoke and many offices and public place have smoking rooms. Many companies have recently started banning their employees from smoking and the government has been cracking down on public smoking ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Last year the Japanese Health Ministry required officials to go on a walk after their cigarette breaks so that tobacco smell wouldn’t bother others in the workplace.

Having extra time off maybe even healthier than quitting smoking for some employees.

“Overwork has been known to be a chronic problem among Japanese workers. Death, either by suicide or cardiovascular illness, linked to overwork is known as karoshi in Japan,” The Huffington Post reports.

Work-related suicides in Japan were up by 45 percent between 2016 and 2012 among those 29-year-old and younger and 39 percent among women, according to Reuters.

“A survey by Expedia Japan last year found that 53 percent of Japanese workers don’t know how much annual leave they are entitled to and 18 percent feel guilty taking paid time off,” The Huffington Post writes. “The U.S. ranked second, with 10 percent in the latter category.”

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