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Piala Inc, a Japanese marketing firm, introduced the policy in September after receiving multiple complaints from workers who do not smoke cigarettes.
“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,” according to a spokesperson for Piala Inc.
Each cigarette break reportedly lasts at least 15 minutes because the firm is located on the 29th floor of a Tokyo office building.
The company hopes the new program will encourage employees to put an end to their nicotine addiction.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, told Kyodo News. The CEO also added that the program has already encouraged four members of the staff to give up the habit.
As Japan inches closer to the Tokyo-based 2020 Olympic games, the nation is doing everything it can to cut down on the number of smokers in the country, including a push for an outright smoking ban in public spaces.
Overall, 19.8 percent of Japanese adults are smokers, down from only four years ago when cigarette smokers made up 21.6 percent of the population.