Japanese company gives extra days off to non-smokers

Smoking kills and may also reduce your holidays. Know Why

Following the suggestion, the company's CEO Takao Asuka chose to give non-smoking employees extra time off to compensate, Matsushima added. Because of the distance, each break lasts around 15 minutes, and according to employees, that adds up quickly.

The company said an employee had complained that their colleagues who smoked often worked less because they took smoking breaks throughout the day.

Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. only introduced the non-smokers' perk in September, but employees have been quick to take advantage.

A Japanese company is granting its non-smoking staff an additional six days of holiday a year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks. Since offering the extra vacation time in September, four out of the firm's 42 daily smokers have given up the habit.

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Every smoker at some point in their lives classified themselves as a social smoker or someone who smokes occasionally but slowly they begin transitioning to regular smoking and before they know it they have become addicted to cigarettes.

According to the World Health Organisation, 21.7 percent of Japanese adults smoke with the figure being higher among males and older generations.

Unlike many western countries, smoking is permitted in certain sections of restaurants. Smokers also had to go down from the office on the 29th floor to a smoking area in the basement.

Smoking is still quite prevalent in Japan although most office workers must do their puffing in designated smoking rooms and outdoor areas.

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One company in Japan, where smoking is deeply ingrained into culture, made a decision to do something about it.

As you can see in the photo below, public spaces in Japan are eerily reminiscent of what US customers might have encountered before statewide bans took off in the mid-1990s.

More stringent anti-smoking laws - including banning indoor smoking in public places - are due to kick-in ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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