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The Japanese company adds to the non-smokers 6 days of extra holiday.

Short smoking breaks lasting up to several minutes are prolonging, giving employees more free time than non-smokers.

One company in Japan, where smoking is deeply associated with culture, has decided to do something about smoking. After one non-smoker employee filed a complaint about how smoking affects productivity in Piala Inc. made a huge change.


The company has given non-smokers six days for each year to offset the time that smokers add to cigarettes in their daily pause.

Hirotak Matsushima, a spokesman for this company, said: "One of our non-smokers has filed a complaint with the complaints and suggestions that smoking breaks are causing problems."

"I hope that extended leave will motivate employees to stop smoking, but rather an incentive rather than a penalty or coercion." -Takao Asuka, CEO of Piala Inc. The change aims to encourage employees to stop smoking.

About 130,000 people die in Japan each year from smoking-related illness and another 15,000 die in cigarette smoke-related conditions, said Susan Mercado, an official of the World Health Organization.

Smoking is forbidden in parts of Japan, major dealers stop selling cigarettes, and smoke commercials on TV.

So far, it seems that Piala Inc.'s measures it works. About four of the company's 32 employees have stopped smoking for complaints and suggestions that smoking breaks cause problems. "