Medicine

Japanese Firm Gives Six Extra Days Leave to Compensate for Cigarette Breaks

Japanese Firm Gives Six Extra Days Leave to Compensate for Cigarette Breaks

The company adopted the leave policy after non-smoker staff complained that they worked more than their smoker colleagues as they took constant smoke breaks.

According to the Telegraph, Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. will give all non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid leave each year because of the fact that they end up working more hours per day than their smoking peers. How?

"We don't give punishment for smoking", company spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima was quoted by CNN Money as saying. Apparently, smokers had to travel from the 29 floor of a major office building to the basement to smoke with each break lasting around 15 minutes.

Cigarette breaks are the bane of non-smokers.

After hearing about the complaint, the company's CEO, Takao Asuka, chose to give nonsmoking employees time off to compensate.

The World Health Organisation ranks Japan at the bottom of the list in anti-smoking regulations according to the type of public places entirely smoke-free and around 18 per cent of Japanese are believed to smoke. Almost 40 percent of men in their 30s smoke, though that's down from more than half in 2001, according to government figures.

Mr Asuka hopes the scheme will create an incentive for the company's staff to quit smoking.

The initiative has apparently led 4 of the 42 smokers in the company to quit smoking. And though many companies offer some sort of incentive to kick the butts for health and insurance reasons, at Piala, it's all about fairness.

Smoking is still quite prevalent in Japan although most office workers must do their puffing in designated smoking rooms and outdoor areas. The figure is expected to change as the government has been putting effort to impose tougher anti-smoking laws ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

There are many western countries which encourages smoking in restaurants and work areas.


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