A Japanese company is incentivising its staff to give up smoking by providing non-smokers with six whole days extra holiday per year.
According to staff at marketing firm Piala Inc, based in Tokyo, each cigarette break takes staff at least 15 minutes, due to the fact that the office is based on the 29th floor of an office block.
According to International Business Times, CEO Takao Asuka believes the policy will help employees to quit the unhealthy habit.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion”, he said.
A 2016 survey found that a total of 19.8% of Japanese adults smoke. Although this is reportedly the first time on record the percentage has fallen below 20%, the country still has far more smokers than in the UK, where fewer than one in five (17%) of adults smoke.
Just 30 of the company’s 120 employees have taken advantage of the additional paid holiday since the scheme was introduced.
One of which was employee and spokesperson Hirotaka Matsushima, who used the extra days to have a long weekend away with his family.
“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems”, he told The Telegraph.
“Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
He claimed the scheme has encouraged four people to give up smoking, so it looks like this company may be onto something.