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Japanese Firm Gives Six Extra Days Leave to Compensate for Cigarette Breaks
03 November 2017, 12:49 | Franklin Nunez
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"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?
Piala Inc., a marketing firm in Tokyo, announced the policy in September, and a quarter of the workforce has taken advantage of it.
The company granted non-smoking staff an additional six days off each year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks.
A Japanese company is offering an unusual perk for its nonsmoking employees: an extra six days of vacation.
"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", Hirotaka Matsushima, spokesperson for Piala Inc., told The Telegraph. "Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving nonsmokers some extra time off to compensate".
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.
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Even more importantly, the policy reportedly has encouraged four separate employees to quit the habit altogether, and according to Piala Inc. The figure is higher among males and older generations.
The move was aimed to encourage smokers to quit, but it's also about equality.
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.
About 1 in 5 adults in Japan smoke, and smoking rooms are commonly found in offices and public establishments.
Many Japanese companies have started out anti-smoking campaigns and have banned smoking at work.
Broader antismoking efforts in the country have been met with resistance, despite pressure from worldwide groups like the World Health Organization to make the Tokyo Olympics a smoke-free event.
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