Japanese company gives non-smokers six days off to compensate for cigarette breaks

FILE - In this Saturday, March 2, 2013, photo, a cigarette burns in an ashtray at a home in Hayneville, Ala. A government study released on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, shows that even though fewer U.S. teens are smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke remains a big problem. Nearly half of nonsmoking kids in middle school and high school were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke in 2013, and rates were even higher among smokers. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

TOKYO, JAPAN (WAGA)Two rest breaks and a meal period are often considered the standard break times throughout the day – unless you smoke… then you tend to get a couple more.

Those smoke breaks do add up over time, which prompted some companies to get creative with how they compensate the time for non-smoking employees

Japanese company Piala Inc. initiated a new six day paid time off allowance in September, after non-smokers expressed that they worked more than their co-workers who smoked, The Telegraph reported.

“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.

Piala Inc.’s  CEO Takao Asuka resolved the issue, by giving employees who don’t smoke the six days holiday to be used throughout the year as a way to compensate for the time, reports Fox 8 Cleveland. 

The Telegraph says the Tokyo based company is on the 29th floor of an office building- which staff reports makes cigarette breaks last at least 15 minutes.

Chief Asuka also said that he hopes to “encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion…so far, four employees have quit.” (Kyodo News)

According to The Telegraph, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is arranging to put in a place a smoking ban in public places in the Japanese capital.

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