In Japan, 22 percent of adults smoke (compared to 15.1 percent of U.S. adults).
That adds up to a lot of second-hand smoke floating around outside the office smoking sections, and so several Japanese companies have decided to ban smoking in order to help those employees exposed to second-hand smoke.
But another idea may have a more beneficial - and egalitarian - impact for current smokers as well as nonsmokers.
Piala Inc., a Tokyo-based online marketing company, decided in September to offer six additional paid days off to nonsmoking employees.
Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka took the step in response to an employee’s comment delivered to an in-house opinion box, in which he pointed out substantive daily work hours are different between smokers, who leave their desks frequently, and nonsmokers.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Asuka said.
Smokers - Would you quit smoking for an extra paid week off from work?
Nonsmokers - Are you bothered by secondhand smoke around your office space?