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Japanese Companies Give Non-Smokers 6 Days Extra Leave. Boss, Are You Listening?

Japanese Companies Give Non-Smokers 6 Days Extra Leave. Boss, Are You Listening?

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.

After hearing about the complaint, the company's CEO, Takao Asuka, made a decision to give nonsmoking employees time off to compensate.

Still, in addition to Piala, some private Japanese companies are taking it upon themselves to curb smoking rates among their employees. In addition, four employees have started smoking cessation programmes since the scheme's introduction.

"I am no longer shunned by nonsmokers as I have rid myself of the odor of cigarette smoke", said Masayuki Seto, an executive at a life insurance company, to the Japan Times.




"We don't give punishment for smoking", said Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima.

The rift between smokers and non-smokers about the smoking breaks is very normal in every organisation. Apparently, smokers had to travel from the 29 floor of a major office building to the basement to smoke with each break lasting around 15 minutes. But the Japanese government is facing global pressure to cut down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The country's smoking laws confine most outdoor smoking to designated areas, and it is banned on the street, but most restaurants and bars still allow it. The World Health Organization lists Japan at the bottom of the list in terms of anti-smoking policies according to the types of spaces that are entirely smoke-free.

"The time is right for Japan to finally catch up now with the Olympics just around the corner", Douglas Bettcher, WHO's director for prevention of non-communicable disease, said at a news conference earlier this year. Now that he has additional vacation leaves because of the paid leave allowance, he plans to use his extra time off to play tennis.

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