Piala introduces paid leave for non-smokers

04 November, 2017, 00:17 | Author: Garry Little
  • Each smoking break at the Tokyo firm lasted around 15 minutes
Credit
PA

On average, each daily smoker and recent quitter took nearly 2.5 more sick days in 2010 compared to employees who have never smoked, the conference board found.

Non-smokers at the agency complained about the unfairness to the chief executive, whose response in September has drawn attention in a country where tobacco use remains popular and workers take few days off. Employees at Piala who did not smoke, the company announced, would be rewarded with up to six additional vacation days a year.

Smoke breaks are particularly time-consuming at the company - about 15 minutes each - because smokers must travel from the office on the 29th floor to the basement.

The main reason Piala is doing this is to balance out the time smoking employees spend on cigarette breaks each week.

A marketing company in Tokyo is awarding a novel perk to its non-puffing employees: an extra week's holiday for nonsmokers.

"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion", Takao Asuka, company CEO, told Kyodo News (via Telegraph). And though many companies offer some sort of incentive to kick the butts for health and insurance reasons, at Piala, it's all about fairness.

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"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate", the spokesperson explains.

As per a study by World Health Organisation and US Cancer Institute, smoking is costing United States dollars 1 trillion to the world economy, which is way more than global revenues from tobacco taxes.

In Japan, while smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars without any designated smoking area, it is banned on the streets.

Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense.

Earlier this year, Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike said he planned to impose a smoking ban in public places across city ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to the World Health Organization, Japanese men are three times more likely to smoke than Japanese women.

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