Tokyo company gives extra holidays to nonsmoking employees

There are other ways to incentivize employees to quit smoking, according to The Midwest Business Group on Health.

A Japanese company is granting its non-smoking staff an additional six days of holiday a year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks.

The company says the idea came from an employee who complained that colleagues who smoked often worked less because of the cigarette breaks they took throughout the day. Piala, a Tokyo-based online commerce consulting and marketing company, chose to kick-start the programme after an employee complained about the time lost work by smoking colleagues.

The frequent cigarette breaks meant many employees were away from their desks upwards of 15 minutes each day, Matsushima added.

"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", Matsushima told the publication.

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

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According to the World Health Organisation, 21.7 per cent of Japanese adults smoke.

Unsurprisingly, staffers who don't smoke have been pleased with the bonus time.

Japanese marketing firm Piala is rewarding nonsmokers in the best way it knows how: with vacation days.

Tokyo's governor is hoping to enact a ban on smoking in public places before the Games arrive, though will likely have trouble pushing that through.

The country's smoking laws confine most outdoor smoking to designated areas, and it is banned on the street, but most restaurants and bars still allow it.

Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers.

  • Marjorie Miles