My Posts

This Japanese Company Is Offering Extra Leave for Non-Smokers

By Orgesta Tolaj


22 December 2023

extra leave for non-smokers

© Lex Guerra / Unsplash

No smoking allowed indeed! And this company wants to make sure smokers know all of the benefits of not smoking. In a statement to the Tokyo-based news agency Kyodo News, the CEO expressed a desire to encourage employees to quit smoking through positive affirmations rather than opting for penalties or coercion. And to show that, they are offering extra leave for non-smokers of the company.

What Are Smoke Breaks?

Smoke breaks refer to small breaks (typically 5 to 10 minutes) during the workday. Smokers, take time away from their work responsibilities to smoke cigarettes. These breaks are often characterized by a brief pause in work activities. It lets smokers step outside or to a designated smoking area for smoking. The practice of smoke breaks has implications for workplace productivity and efficiency. While they provide smokers with a momentary respite, the total time spent on these breaks can impact overall work output.

That is why the company is trying to take measures against low productivity from smoke breaks.

The Idea Behind Extra Leave for Non-Smokers

A company in Japan addresses the issue of cigarette breaks, a common practice in many offices worldwide. Smokers typically take short breaks, accumulating extra time outside the office compared to non-smokers. The Japanese company takes action to address this by implementing changes or solutions.

© Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash

The marketing firm behind the idea is Piala Inc. They offered the option in response to a complaint from a non-smoking employee regarding the impact of smoke breaks on productivity. It had reportedly modified its paid time off policy, addressing the issue of smoking breaks in the workplace.

How Did They Make the Decision?

Following the complaint, the Japanese company Piala Inc. took innovative measures to address the issue. The non-smoking staff member had expressed concerns through the company’s suggestion box. They highlighted how the breaks for smokers were causing disruptions. In response, the CEO, Takao Asuka, decided to grant non-smoking employees an additional six days of paid time off annually.

This move was intended to compensate non-smokers for the cumulative time spent by their smoking counterparts on cigarette breaks, which often exceeded 15 minutes per day. The company’s proactive approach aimed to create a more equitable work environment and address the challenges posed by smoking breaks on overall productivity.

What Is It Trying to Achieve?

The CEO of Piala Inc. expressed the company’s approach to addressing smoking habits among employees by providing incentives rather than penalties or coercion, as mentioned in an interview with Tokyo-based news agency Kyodo News. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a significant gender disparity in smoking rates in Japan, with men being three times more likely to smoke than women, according to CNBC. Piala Inc.’s initiative of granting additional leave to non-smoking employees appeared to be effective in encouraging some individuals to quit smoking. One employee, Shun Shinbaba, shared that he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every two days but has now become a non-smoker, planning to utilize his extra vacation time to play tennis.

Do you agree with this company’s decision to offer extra leave for non-smokers?

You might also want to read: Man in Turkey Used a Head Cage to Quit Smoking

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!