Company Comps Non-Smoking Employees for Their Co-workers' Smoke Breaks

While it seems that fewer and fewer people are smoking these days, there are still an estimated 36.5 million adults who smoke in the United States today. That’s a lot of people. And that’s a lot of smoking breaks taken throughout the workday.

When an employee of Piala Inc., a Tokyo-based organization in Japan, put a message in the company’s suggestion box about how the smokers among the employees have been causing problems, the CEO, Takao Asuka, agreed. Since Piala, Inc. is located on the 29th floor of the building, the 30 or so employees (out of 120 total) who wish to take a cigarette break must go all the way down to the basement to do so. Each trip eats up about 15 minutes. And that can add up.

To address the issue, Asuka did something unexpected: he gave all non-smoking employees of Piala Inc. six extra days off per year to compensate. And some have already taken advantage of the new perk. Incredibly, four smoking employees have even kicked the habit as a result of the new policy.

According to Bored Panda, “The World Health Organisation reports that 18.2 percent of Japanese adults smoke (the figure is higher among males and older generations).” Asuka told Kyodo News, “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.” And it seems as though his plan is working.

Do you think it is fair to award non-smokers extra time off? If you are a smoker, how do you feel about it? Let us know in the comments!