If the threat of death and lung cancer and tracheostomies won’t get you to stop smoking, perhaps this will—more vacation days. A Japanese company is giving nonsmokers six extra vacation days a year. This is not a reward for their good life choices, per se, but to compensate them for the time they spend working at their desks while smokers are outside, standing around sucking on death sticks.
Marketing firm Piala Inc. introduced the new policy in September after nonsmokers complained that they were working more than their colleagues who smoked. The company’s offices are reportedly on the 29th floor, meaning that popping out for a smoke break meant a solid 15 minutes away from work. Multiply that by several smoke breaks a day, and the hours start to add up, which began to tick off nonsmoking coworkers. A spokesman for the company told The Telegraph that one of those nonsmokers slipped a note in the company’s suggestion box and the CEO agreed. Now nonsmokers are entitled to more vacation time, which the company hopes will encourage smokers to quit their filthy habit.
It’s part of a slow-growing movement in Japan to cut down on smoking, where an estimated 18% of the population still lights up. In July, a plan to impose a smoking ban in public places across the Japanese capital was unveiled ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics. But the proposal is likely to encounter strong opposition, according to The Independent. The government owns one third of the cigarette manufacturing giant Japan Tobacco, which paid the state $700 million in dividends in 2015.ML