This Company Gives Nonsmoker Employees Extra Time Off

  • This Company Gives Nonsmoker Employees Extra Time Off

This Company Gives Nonsmoker Employees Extra Time Off

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

Companies in the United States have typically taken a more punitive stance on smoking, charging workers who use tobacco more for insurance and outlawing smoking on company property. "The company is willing to take an even tougher anti-smoking measure in the future", said a public relations officer. After a non-smoking employee submitted a complaint about how smoke breaks were affecting productivity, marketing firm Piala Inc. made a change to its paid time off policy.

But at Piala, which has its headquarters in a Tokyo high-rise, about 35 percent of employees smoke, and the cigarette breaks had become disruptive.

"We don't give punishment for smoking", said Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima. "Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate".

Overall, smoking is still quite prevalent in Japan, with nearly 20 percent of over-20-year-olds saying they smoke.

Unsurprisingly, staffers who don't smoke have been pleased with the bonus time. The decrease in American smokers is due in part to health initiatives and laws banning smoking in certain areas, major retailers no longer selling cigarettes and anti-smoking TV advertisements.

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.

The organisation, which has approximately 120 employees, launched the benefit to staff in September, and to date it has been taken up by 31 employees.

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.