Health Care

Japanese company increases vacation time for non-smokers

Japanese company increases vacation time for non-smokers”

A marketing company in Tokyo is awarding a novel perk to its non-puffing employees: an extra week's holiday for nonsmokers.

Just under 50 percent of major American employers surveyed past year said they included a surcharge on insurance policies for smokers, at a median rate of $600 annually, according to Willis Towers Watson, the benefits consultant that conducted the survey of companies with at least 1,000 workers.

"Because our office is located on the 29th floor it takes at least 10 minutes for a smoker to go down to a common smoking room in the basement and come back, " spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima said. "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.

The company's CEO, Takao Asuka, said that he hopes "to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion".

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Japanese companies are encouraging its employees to quit smoking by providing the facility of six additional leaves. But most restaurants and bars still allow smoking.

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.

The move was aimed to encourage smokers to quit, but it's also about equality.

Sompo Japan Nippon Kowa Himawari Life Insurance Inc. has introduced an all-day smoking ban at its head office and all business outlets across Japan.

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Many Japanese companies have started out anti-smoking campaigns and have banned smoking at work.

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.

Broader antismoking efforts in the country have been met with resistance, despite pressure from global groups like the World Health Organization to make the Tokyo Olympics a smoke-free event.

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