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Company gives nonsmokers 6 extra days off

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(RNN) – A Japanese company is giving nonsmokers six extra days of paid time off a year.

An employee at Piala in Japan complained coworkers who smoked worked less because of cigarette breaks.

The complaint pointed out that smokers spend 15 minutes on each cigarette break, and they venture from the 29th floor to the basement – which takes extra time. That’s a total of 40 minutes each day away from their desk.

Instead of punishing the smokers, the company decided in September to reward the nonsmokers and encourage smokers to quit.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka in The Japan Times.

According to Huffington Post, 30 of the company’s 120 employees have taken some of the extra time off awarded for being nonsmokers, and four people have quit smoking since the new policy began.

The World Health Organization reports that 1 in 5 adults in Japan smoke, and there is a big push to get Japanese citizens to quit.

Tokyo’s governor wants to ban smoking in public places by the 2020 Summer Olympics, but Fortune reports that initiative is unlikely to happen.

In the U.S. almost 37 million people smoke – that’s about 15 percent of the population – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Gallup poll in 2015 estimated smoking cost $3,077 in unproductive wages for each smoker on average in the U.S. The poll also found Healthcare costs are also higher for smokers – on average $2,056 per year.

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