By Amanda Froelich
If you needed additional incentive to give up smoking cigarettes (other than a reduced risk of increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer), this might be it. A company in Japan is offering non-smoking workers an extra six days of paid holiday leave each year. The reason why? To offset the amount of time smokers take for cigarette breaks.
The Telegraph reports that Piala Inc., a marketing firm based in Tokyo, implemented the change after non-smoking workers complained that they were working more hours than their co-workers who smoke.
“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”, said Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
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The company took the matter seriously, as the office is located on the 29th floor in a building. That means each cigarette break lasts at least 15 minutes, according to staff.
Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, told Kyodo News, “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.” Since the policy was put into place, no less than 30 of the 120 workers have taken extra days off. The initiative also encouraged at least four employees to give up smoking for good.
The Hazards of Smoking Cigarettes
The incentive Piala Inc. offered for employees to quit smoking worked. But, there are additional reasons people should seriously consider giving up the habit of smoking. The CDC reports that smoking cigarettes harms nearly every organ of the body. As a result, it contributes to many diseases, as well as reduces the health of smokers, in general. In fact, more than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States. That’s a staggering fact to consider, one that, hopefully, encourages more people to give up the habit.
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IMAGE CREDIT: Igor Stevanovic