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Japanese Company Gives Employees An Extra 6 Days Off If They Stop Smoking

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Estimated 2 min read

We’ve all heard of young companies doing some cool things for their employees, such as Google’s high-tech nap pods, and most start-ups having a ping pong table every 5 to 10 feet. We even do some cool stuff for our employees here, too. We have a coffee machine.

Tokyo-based marketing company Piala, Inc. is now giving its non-smoking staff an extra 6 days off each year to compensate for the amount of smoke breaks their other staff take.

The policy was implemented in September of last year after one of the non-smoking staff issued some discouraging feedback to management, stating that the constant smoke breaks were causing problems, perhaps not realising that by doing so would inevitably cause her a larger amount of ‘likability’ problems moving forward.

“Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate”,

said Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company.

As the company was based nearly 30 floors up a skyscraper in the Ebisu district of Tokyo, smokers had to travel all the way down to the basement to suck back a few cheeky sticks, with the round trip taking around 15 minutes each time.

Currently, over 30 employees have decided to quit smoking (presumably where their boss can see them) to take advantage of the extended holiday offer.

While an extra six days off might pale in comparison to some other company incentives you’ve heard of, it pays to remember that the Japanese work culture can be incredibly toxic in some industries, with a large number of people working in excess in 100 hours a week. They even have the word ‘karoshi’, which means ‘death by overwork’ and is legitimately a recognized cause of death in Japan.

A lady in Japan actually died after she clocked 159 hours just in overtime, in one month. Holy shit, lady.

We think compensating non-smokers is a fantastic initiative that should be adopted by more companies, or at the very least allow their non-smoking staff to go and stand in the car park every few hours.


Currently living in Sydney Australia, I come from a background in brand marketing and comedy writing. I’ve spent the last 3 years heavily involved in the vape industries of the USA, UK, and Oceania.

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