Japanese company increases vacation time for non-smokers

Cigarette

Cigarette

But Piala's smoking room is in the basement, which caused smoking employees to leave the 29th-floor office for breaks multiple times a day.

The rollout of the new benefit comes as other companies in Japan grapple with how to encourage their own workers to make healthier choices and as the government faces worldwide pressure to crack down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

One of those new non-smokers, Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNNMoney he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every two days, and that he plans to use his newfound vacation time to play tennis. Additionally, the Japanese government holds a stake in Japan Tobacco, the multinational tobacco giant, which critics say compromises its smoking policy.

Company spokesperson Hirotaka Matsushima told the Telegraph that the idea came from a company suggestion box.

The company has introduced a paid leave allowance to non-smokers, giving them an extra six days off per year.

Chief Asuka also said that he hopes to "encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.so far, four employees have quit".

As per a study by World Health Organisation and US Cancer Institute, smoking is costing United States dollars 1 trillion to the world economy, which is way more than global revenues from tobacco taxes. The figure is higher among males and older generations.

About 1 in 5 adults in Japan smoke, and smoking rooms are commonly found in offices and public establishments.

The country's smoking laws confine most outdoor smoking to designated areas, and it is banned on the street, but most restaurants and bars still allow it.

Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense. India is leading at the 4 position in terms of the maximum cigarettes consumption.

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