Should non-smok­ers get time off?

Montreal Times - - News - By Bon­nie Wurst

Smok­ers are of­ten seen out­side of­fice build­ings and other places of busi­ness sev­eral times a day, grab­bing a few puffs be­fore head­ing back to their jobs. Of­ten it is their break time - but just as of­ten, they grab an ex­tra few min­utes here and there (or more) for an­other drag, while non-smok­ers are still in­side do­ing work. Non-smok­ers are ef­fec­tively putting in more work time than their nico­tine de­pen­dent coun­ter­parts, yet still get­ting paid the same amount of money. Now a Ja­panese com­pany is try­ing to change all that - and some Cana­dian com­pa­nies have taken no­tice.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by The Tele­graph (UK), the Ja­panese mar­ket­ing firm Piala, is giv­ing its non­smok­ing em­ploy­ees an ad­di­tional six days of hol­i­day time per year, to make up for the ex­tra time off smok­ers take for cig­a­rette breaks.

Hiro­taka Mat­sushima, a spokesper­son for the com­pany, told The Tele­graph that one of their non-smok­ing em­ploy­ees placed a mes­sage in the com­pany's sug­ges­tion box ear­lier in the year say­ing that smok­ing breaks were caus­ing prob­lems. He took the sug­ges­tion to Piala's CEO, who then de­cided to of­fer their non­smok­ers the bonus time with the idea of also of­fer­ing an in­cen­tive to those who smoked to quit.

Last July, the gover­nor of Tokyo, put plans in place to en­force a smok­ing ban in pub­lic places across the cap­i­tal be­fore the 2020 Sum­mer Olympics.

The word of Ja­pan's ini­tia­tive has made its way to Canada with sev­eral com­pa­nies now con­sid­er­ing the idea of of­fer­ing their non-smok­ing staff more va­ca­tion time. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Global News ar­ti­cle by Katie Danger­field, Noise Dig­i­tal with of­fices in Toronto and Van­cou­ver, is con­sid­er­ing of­fer­ing a 'va­ca­tion for non-smok­ers pol­icy'. On the other hand, not all com­pa­nies are on board with this.

“It will not in­spire any smoker to quit but only fos­ter re­sent­ment,” Maja Wit­ter, the tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor at Play­ground Inc., a dig­i­tal me­dia com­pany in Toronto, was quoted as say­ing. Ad­ding that, 'the pol­icy the Ja­panese com­pany adopted seems shame and guilt-based' and in­stead 'her com­pany en­cour­ages team mem­bers to go for walks to get fresh air so they can come back to a prob­lem with a new per­spec­tive'.

But to date, Ja­pan's mea­sures seem to be work­ing - with four of the com­pany's 42 em­ploy­ees who smoke al­ready quit­ting.What do you think? Would more time off for non-smok­ers be enough of an ini­tia­tive for smok­ers to quit?

Em­ploy­ees tak­ing a smoke break

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