Japanese company giving non-smokers 6 extra days off to equal smoke breaks

A Japanese marketing company is giving its employees a very attractive reason to stay away from cigarettes.

Piala Inc., based in Tokyo, made the decision last month to give non-smoking employees an extra six paid days off every year. Their reasoning? To balance out the time smoking employees spend away from their desks on cigarette breaks each day.

According to the Japan Times, Piala CEO Takao Asuka said the idea came from an employee comment box submission at its office.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Asuka told the Japan Times.

He was likely contrasting his approach with that of fellow Japanese company Lawson Inc., which recently banned all employees at its corporate headquarters from smoking during the work day.

Since Piala introduced the measure, four employees have quit smoking, according to London's The Telegraph.

Smoking is a major issue in Japan, with the country ranking among the world's highest in terms of smoking rates, according to the Washington Post.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.

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