This Japanese firm rewards non-smoker employees to promote productive work culture

More firms introducing anti-smoking measures

A Japanese company is offering a novel benefit to nonsmoking employees, CNBC reports.

The ban, however, carries no penalty for violators. Nicotine in itself creates productivity issues.

Lawson introduced the ban step by step, starting with a once-a-week nonsmoking day a year ago.

Every smoker at some point in their lives classified themselves as a social smoker or someone who smokes occasionally but slowly they begin transitioning to regular smoking and before they know it they have become addicted to cigarettes.

But most office workers must do their puffing in designated smoking rooms and outdoor areas, and cities are gradually imposing limits on outdoor smoking in public areas. In step with the ban, the company converted smoking rooms at the head office into resting rooms.

The initiative has apparently led 4 of the 42 smokers in the company to quit smoking. Some employers, including the Cleveland Clinic, will not hire people who smoke.

Masayuki Seto, an executive officer of the company, is one of the participants in such programs.

The company's corporate planning director, Hirotaka Matsushima - a non-smoker himself - said the scheme was "pretty popular". "Moves to quit smoking have spread among staff working under my supervision".

Non-smoking employees have been offered six extra days holiday after complaining that smokers were taking too many breaks.

Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO believes in making his workplace smoke-free but not through warnings or threats.

Even more importantly, the policy reportedly has encouraged four separate employees to quit the habit altogether, and according to Piala Inc.

More companies are expected to regulate in-house smoking as the government is reinforcing measures to prevent secondhand smoking ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

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