Marketing Firm Gives Non-Smoking Employees Six Additional Vacation Days, but It’s Not Why You Think
Business| | By Brad Kallet
How’s this for a company perk? If you don’t smoke and work for Piala Inc., the Japanese marketing firm will give you an additional six days of paid vacation.
The benefit for non-smokers isn’t about keeping employees in good health, though. Rather, it’s about making up for the 15 minutes or so that cigarette breaks take. According to Yahoo! Finance, an employee at Piala who abstains from nicotine complained that he was working harder and putting more time in than smokers.
Piala CEO Takao Asuka looked into the situation, decided that the employee had a point, and implemented the new policy.
“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,” Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for Piala, told The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
There’s currently a major anti-tobacco push taking place in the Asian nation. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is attempting to ban smoking in public places ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in the city, Yahoo! Finance reported. That will be tough to pass, though, as the country has a very serious smoking problem. According to the World Health Organization, Japan has the least effective anti-smoking regulations in the world. The WHO also estimated that roughly 18 percent of Japanese residents smoke.
A widely held belief that smoking is a boon to the economy also is a misconception. According to the WHO and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the deadly habit carries a global annual cost of more than $1 trillion. That far exceeds the estimated $269 billion in global revenue from tobacco taxes.
What do you think of Piala’s policy? Is it unfair to smokers, and do you think it will deter employees from lighting up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and make sure to SHARE this story with your friends.