There are countless public health initiatives designed to encourage people to quit smoking. From intense ad campaigns, to making it illegal to smoke in parks, to banning cigarettes in bars and restaurants. And now one private company is taking things into their own hands. A business in Japan is giving non-smoking employees six extra vacation days a year.
According to the Telegraph, Piala Inc., a marketing firm based in Tokyo, implemented the policy in September after an employee complained that smokers were away from their desks for a significant amount of time each day. Piala’s office is on the 29th floor and does not have any outdoor area where employees can light up. So every time an employee wants to have a cigarette, they have to travel all the way down to the lowest floor. A typical smoking break takes about 15 minutes.
Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company, told the Telgraph that a non-smoking employee reported their concern to upper management via a suggestion box. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed,” Matsushima said, “so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
And how is the policy going? Fantastic. So far, 30 of the 120 company’s employees have taken advantage of the policy. Not only are the non-smokers happier, but the whole company is getting a little healthier as well. Since the measure’s implementation, four workers have successfully quit smoking.
We love it. And we’re glad it’s working! Now, if only more companies here in the United States would enact this policy. Excuse us while we take a little field trip to the suggestion box.