Japanese firm gives non-smokers extra six days holiday


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

As a reward for not taking daily smoke breaks, non-smokers at the Japanese company Pilia Inc. now receive an extra six days off each year.

A Japanese company will give its non-smoking employees an additional six days off to promote fairness and simultaneously acknowledge the amount of time smokers use to take smoke breaks.

An AFP report quoted the company's spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima as saying, "Because our office is located on the 29th floor it takes at least 10 minutes for a smoker to go down to a common smoking room in the basement and come back".

The added time is meant to compensate non-smokers for the 15-minute breaks smokers take throughout the year.

"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion", he told a reporter. It was only this past year that the percentage of Japanese adults who smoke fell below 20 percent.

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About 130,000 people die every year in Japan of smoking-related diseases, and an additional 15,000 die of secondhand smoke-related conditions, Susan Mercado, a World Health Organization official tells The Japan Times.

In Japan, while smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars without any designated smoking area, it is banned on the streets.

More stringent anti-smoking laws - including banning indoor smoking in public places - are due to kick-in ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Piala Inc.is trying to encourage employees to quit.

Since the introduction of the policy no fewer than 30 people out of the total 120 have availed the policy.

One of those new non-smokers, Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNNMoney he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every two days, and that he plans to use his newfound vacation time to play tennis.