Remember the scene from Rachel’s work in the sitcom Friends? She did not want to smoke, but her boss did and she was forced to join in for promoting her career. But now non-smokers in a Japanese will have reasons to rejoice.
They pointed out that they were putting in more hours of work as the smokers took a lot of time off in their smoking breaks. Hence, the company decided to reward non-smokers with 6 extra paid-leave days.
Marketing firm Piala Inc introduced the new paid leave allowance in September after non-smokers complained they were working more than their colleagues who smoked.
While the government has taken haphazard anti-tobacco campaigns due to the high revenue from the industry, and many civil society organisations have taken ineffective interventions for the anti-smoking cause, this incentivised move could hold the answer.
Smoking is a time-consuming activity. In fact, yours sincerely knows an aspirational tech genius who quit smoking because he could not make time for a smoke in his increasingly busy schedule. In Indian offices, smoking is a social activity. You ask all the smokers of your team to join in, then head out for a cutting tea, and then return after spending a few minutes. No wonder, the non-smokers would grudge you these breaks.
Monetary and other perks at work seem to hold the answer to discourage smoking, or at least satisfy the non-smokers for being good.