Company gives non-smokers additional days off to counter smoke breaks

03 November, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Darrell Lopez
  • More firms introducing anti-smoking measures

Additionally, the Japanese government holds a stake in Japan Tobacco, the multinational tobacco giant, which critics say compromises its smoking policy.

The rollout of the new benefit comes as other companies in Japan grapple with how to encourage their own workers to make healthier choices and as the government faces worldwide pressure to crack down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Non-smoking employees have been offered six extra days holiday after complaining that smokers were taking too many breaks.

The matter has been taken seriously by the Tokyo-based company, which is reportedly based on the 29th floor of an office block - making any cigarette break last at least 15 minutes, according to staff.

"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", company spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima told The Telegraph.

According to the World Health Organization, 21.7 percent of Japanese smoke. Smoking remains part of the culture and work environment in Japan, where it is common for companies to provide designated rooms for employees to smoke indoors.




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.

Unlike many western countries, smoking is permitted in certain sections of restaurants.

Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense.

The initiative has apparently led 4 of the 42 smokers in the company to quit smoking.

The same study found that there's a growing trend where employers will ban smoking in the workplace, and they will even reject potential employees who smoke.

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