Company will give non-smoking employees 6 extra days off

More firms introducing anti-smoking measures

"I am no longer shunned by nonsmokers as I have rid myself of the odor of cigarette smoke", said Seto, who has smoked for 30 years. After a non-smoking employee submitted a complaint about how smoke breaks were affecting productivity, marketing firm Piala Inc. made a change to its paid time off policy.

The corporate planning director for Piala, Hirotaka Matsushima, said Thursday that the company began offering the six days of extra vacation to all of its 120 staff members in September.

We wish that our bosses in India would take inspiration from them and give us a little extra incentive as well.

Globally, smoking carries costs of more than $1 trillion per year, according to a study from the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute. "So we decided it's better to give rewards (to non-smokers) than punish the smokers".

In a country where almost 22% of people smoke- one of the highest rates in the world - Asuka also said the policy should encourage people to quit. Smoking remains part of the culture and work environment in Japan, where it is common for companies to provide designated rooms for employees to smoke indoors.

Many Japanese companies have started out anti-smoking campaigns and have banned smoking at work. But curbing tobacco use in Japan will likely be hard, as it was in the U.S. Original efforts by the country's health ministry to ban indoor smoking in restaurants were scaled back after lobbyists pressured politicians.

According to The Telegraph, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is arranging to put in a place a smoking ban in public places in the Japanese capital.

The Japanese government is keen to ditch the country's reputation as a smokers haven by bringing its smoking rules in line with the majority of the developed world.

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