A Japanese company has come up with perhaps the greatest incentive ever to quit smoking: Six extra vacation days a year.
According to the Telegraph, Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. will give all non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid leave each year because of the fact that they end up working more hours per day than their smoking peers. How? It all comes down to those lengthy smoking breaks people tend to take several times a day.
The company came to its envy-inducing vacation policy decision after a group of non-smoking employees complained about the issue.
"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 the company, told the Telegraph. "Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
But beyond giving non-smokers a reward, the company is also hoping that the extra days off are seen as an incentive for others to quit the habit.
"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, the company’s CEO, told Kyodo News. According to the Telegraph, the new program has already encouraged four employees to kick the habit in exchange for those precious vacation days.
Nearly one in five adults in Japan smoke, according to CNN, though that number may plummet ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Several companies are also trying to incentivize their employees to put down their cigarettes through perks, while others are simply banning smoking and smoke breaks during working hours. Hey, whatever works, though we wouldn’t mind an extra few days off a year to travel the world and be healthy at the same time.