Non-smokers at a Japanese company are getting six days' extra paid leave to make up for smokers' cigarette breaks

Caitlin Morrison
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Workers at a Japanese firm complained smokers were spending too much time on their habits (Source: Getty)

Non-smokers working at Japanese marketing firm Piala are to get six days more paid leave than their colleagues who like a puff, in order to make up for cigarette breaks taken by smokers.

The group's head office is on the 29th floor of a Tokyo office block, and staff are required to go to basement level in order to smoke - meaning each smoking break was taking 15 minutes.

The company introduced the policy after a staff member put a message in a suggestion box stating that smoke breaks were becoming problematic, with non-smoking employees effectively working more than smokers.

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate," Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company, told the Telegraph.

"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion," Piala chief executive Takao Asuka told Kyodo News.

So far, 30 out of a total 120 employeees have taken additional days off under the scheme, and four workers have been encouraged to quit smoking.

Smoking is falling out of favour here in the UK, with the number of smokers dropping to an all-time low last year.

Read more: Spend most of your day sat down? It might be as bad for you as smoking

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