Company rewards non-smoking employees for not taking cigarette breaks

If you've ever glared at the back of a co-worker's head as he or she left the office on a smoke break, wondering why you don't get to just take breaks from work whenever you want, you'll applaud a Japanese company's recent decision.

Piala Inc., a Tokyo-based marketing firm, introduced a policy last month granting six extra paid holidays per year to non-smoking employees to make up for the cigarette breaks of employees who do smoke. It all started when a non-smoker used the company suggestion box to complain about smoking breaks, a spokesperson tells the Telegraph.

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate," the spokesperson explains.

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Smoke breaks are particularly time-consuming at the company — about 15 minutes each — because smokers must travel from the office on the 29th floor to the basement. So far, 25 percent of the employees have taken days off under the new policy — and, at least according to the spokesperson, four people have quit smoking as a result of the policy.

Kyodo News says in Japan, where 21.7 percent of adults are estimated to smoke, more companies are starting to attempt to rein in the practice, with one company going so far as to ban smoking during work hours. (In related news, here's what happens when packs of cigarettes cost $1 more.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: "Company Finds Ingenious Way to Make Up for Smoke Breaks."