Company Finds Ingenious Way to Make Up for Smoke Breaks

Non-smokers get 6 extra holidays per year
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2017 5:36 PM CDT
Updated Nov 4, 2017 4:34 PM CDT
Company Gives Non-Smokers 6 Extra Holidays a Year
People smoke cigarettes near a no smoking sign on World No Tobacco Day in Tokyo, Thursday, May 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

If you've ever glared at the back of a co-worker's head as he or she left the office on a smoke break, wondering why you don't get to just take breaks from work whenever you want, you'll applaud a Japanese company's recent decision. Piala Inc., a Tokyo-based marketing firm, introduced a policy last month granting six extra paid holidays per year to non-smoking employees to make up for the cigarette breaks of employees who do smoke. It all started when a non-smoker used the company suggestion box to complain about smoking breaks, a spokesperson tells the Telegraph.

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate," the spokesperson explains. 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. So far, 25% of the employees have taken days off under the new policy—and, at least according to the spokesperson, four people have quit smoking as a result of the policy. Kyodo News says in Japan, where 21.7% of adults are estimated to smoke, more companies are starting to attempt to rein in the practice, with one company going so far as to ban smoking during work hours. (Here's what happens when packs of cigarettes cost $1 more.)

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