More firms introducing anti-smoking measures

Faith Castro
November 3, 2017

The change in company policy is meant to encourage staff to quit smoking.

The company said the idea began when they noticed that smoking employees worked less because they'd constantly go out for smoking breaks.

But at Piala, which has its headquarters in a Tokyo high-rise, about 35 percent of employees smoke, and the cigarette breaks had become disruptive.

"One of our nonsmoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems", a spokesman for the company told The Telegraph.

Chief Asuka also said that he hopes to "encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or far, four employees have quit".

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Some employees smoke several times a day hence the company decided that since most of the conversations during the session were work-related, the company chose to offer non-smokers extra holidays in place of taking action against the smokers. It was only this past year that the percentage of Japanese adults who smoke fell below 20 percent.

Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. introduced an all-day ban on smoking at its head office and all regional offices in June, with an eye toward lowering the ratio of smokers to its entire workforce by around 10 percentage points in fiscal 2018 from 33 percent in fiscal 2016.

More companies are expected to regulate in-house smoking as the government is reinforcing measures to prevent secondhand smoking ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Piala trying to encourage employees to quit.

A Japanese company is offering an unusual perk for its nonsmoking employees: an extra six days of vacation.

The organisation, which has approximately 120 employees, launched the benefit to staff in September, and to date it has been taken up by 31 employees.

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