Extra Vacation For Nonsmokers

Extra Vacation For Nonsmokers

Although the U.S. has had its own problems with people not taking enough time off from work, Americans aren't smoking as much as they used to.

Piala Inc., a marketing firm in Japan - known for exceptionally high smoking rates - is now giving nonsmoking employees an extra six days of time off each year to make up for the smoking breaks their colleagues regularly take.

The added time is meant to compensate non-smokers for the 15-minute breaks smokers take throughout the year.

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 global pressure to crack down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Chief Asuka also said that he hopes to "encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or far, four employees have quit".

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

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According to the World Health Organization, 21.7 percent of Japanese smoke.

Unsurprisingly, staffers who don't smoke have been pleased with the bonus time. The organisation reports that 35% of its workforce are smokers.

In July, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike made plans to impose a smoking ban in public places across the Japanese capital ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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. Piala trying to encourage employees to quit.

Despite the policy's recent introduction, 30 of the company's 120 employees have already taken advantage.

Japanese marketing firm Piala is rewarding nonsmokers in the best way it knows how: with vacation days.

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