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Gone are the days of smokers seeming like the coolest kids at the back of the bus, as they huddle around the front door, gossiping and inhaling.
A company in Japan got so sick of smokers taking long breaks to finish their cigarettes that they’ve given non-smoking workers a full six extra days of paid leave a year.
The marketing firm Piala Inc., based in Tokyo, says that employees have quickly taken advantage of their extra vacation days – and that the perk has prompted four staff members to give up smoking since the policy was introduced in September.
Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesperson for the company, told The Telegraph: ‘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.
‘Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.’
That is one generous CEO!
The complaint came about because the company’s offices are on the 29th floor of an office block in the Ebisu district of Tokyo. Cigarette breaks took around 15 minutes each as smokers had to travel to the basement level of the building.
So far 30 out of 120 staff members have enjoyed additional days off under the new system. Mr Matsushima, a non-smoker, has taken his family to a hot spring resort using the extra holiday days.
The World Health Organisation reports that 21.7% of Japanese people over the age of 15 smoke.