Non-smokers are winning extra holiday days

by Ray Hunter November 4, 2017, 0:18
Non-smokers are winning extra holiday days

According to Telegraph.co.uk, the Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc.is granting non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid holiday per year after those employees complained they worked more than staff who took frequent breaks to light up.

Why? They listened to their employees. Most companies in Japan have banned smoking in the workplace and have set up separate smoking rooms. The move was aimed to encourage smokers to quit, but it's also about equality.

Using a dangling carrot of extra days off for non-smoking employees is an "innovative" way to encourage those still using cigarette sticks to kick the habit, says a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society.

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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.

There are a lot of benefits of choosing not to smoke.

Smoke breaks are particularly time-consuming at the company - about 15 minutes each - because smokers must travel from the office on the 29th floor to the basement.

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Smoking is still quite prevalent in Japan although most office workers must do their puffing in designated smoking rooms and outdoor areas. Secondhand smoke in particular is a constant health threat, with smokers free to light up in restaurants, bars and other public spaces. But the Japanese government is facing global pressure to cut down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. About 15 per cent of USA adults smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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. According to the World Health Organization, Japanese men are three times more likely to smoke than Japanese women.

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