Extra vacation days to non-smokers?

This Japanese firm rewards non-smoker employees to promote productive work culture

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed". This is mostly because I once had a job where I worked with a close friend who was a smoker and I couldn't resist this acceptable way of taking mini-vacations throughout the day for a quick chat with her.

Kyodo News says in Japan, where 21.7 percent of adults are estimated to smoke, more companies are starting to attempt to rein in the practice, with one company going so far as to ban smoking during work hours.

In an effort to convince more of its workers to quit smoking and improve their health, one Japanese company believes it may have found a winning incentive: an extra week of paid vacation.

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The corporate planning director for Piala, Hirotaka Matsushima, said Thursday that the company began offering the six days of extra vacation to all of its 120 staff members in September.

The company's office is located on the 29 floor, as per a report from The Telegraph, this means employee take an extra 10-15 minutes to return.

As per a study by World Health Organisation and US Cancer Institute, smoking is costing United States dollars 1 trillion to the world economy, which is way more than global revenues from tobacco taxes.

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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.

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.

Once the company became aware of the bad feeling caused by the regular breaks taken by smokers, it made the unusual decision to readdress the balance by rewarding non-smokers rather than punishing smokers. About 15 per cent of US adults smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reportedly, a lot of staff who used to smoke have quit smoking owing to this incentive.

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