Japanese company increases vacation time for non-smokers

"Kal se pakka smoking bandh" is something every smoker has said in their lives at least once if not more but how many times have you actually followed through with it?

There are other ways to incentivize employees to quit smoking, according to The Midwest Business Group on Health. Piala, a Tokyo-based online commerce consulting and marketing company, made a decision to kick-start the programme after an employee complained about the time lost work by smoking colleagues.

A Japanese company is granting non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid holidays a year after they complained that they were working more than staff who took time off for cigarette breaks.

Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for Piala Inc., told The Telegraph, "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".

We wish that our bosses in India would take inspiration from them and give us a little extra incentive as well. 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.

Over 20% of Japanese adults smoke, according to World Health Organisation figures, although the habit is more prevalent among men and the older generation.

The scheme has also encouraged four people to give up smoking, he added.

Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense. Most companies in Japan have banned smoking in the workplace and have set up separate smoking rooms.

In Japan, while smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars without any designated smoking area, it is banned on the streets. Especially those countries which are leading amongst the smoking consumption.

  • Aubrey Nash