Japanese marketing firm rewards non-smokers with extra days off

Cigarette

In 2011, 19 percent of American companies imposed financial penalties on employees who smoke, according to The New York Times.

Smoking at work will cost you more than a week of precious vacation time at one Japanese company.

Non-smoking employees at one Japanese firm are getting six additional days of paid holiday to compensate for the time their colleagues spend puffing away at work.

Just under 50 percent of major American employers surveyed past year said they included a surcharge on insurance policies for smokers, at a median rate of $600 annually, according to Willis Towers Watson, the benefits consultant that conducted the survey of companies with at least 1,000 workers.

Representative ImageThis is exactly what a Tokyo-based company Piala Inc. did when they received a complaint from their suggestion box saying that smoking was affecting the quality of work. About 15 percent of adults in the United States smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Overall, smoking is still quite prevalent in Japan, with nearly 20 percent of over-20-year-olds saying they smoke. Reportedly, a lot of staff who used to smoke have quit smoking owing to this incentive.

A Japanese company is offering an unusual perk for its nonsmoking employees: an extra six days of vacation.

Tokyo's governor is hoping to enact a ban on smoking in public places before the Games arrive, though will likely have trouble pushing that through. But curbing tobacco use in Japan will likely be hard, as it was in the U.S. Original efforts by the country's health ministry to ban indoor smoking in restaurants were scaled back after lobbyists pressured politicians.

Despite the policy's recent introduction, 30 of the company's 120 employees have already taken advantage.

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