non-smokers finally get their break time!

I used to work in a building with 28 floors. My office was ground level, and I had a perfect view of the elevators and the entry. On the top floor was a company with several smokers. 

About 7 times per day, I’d see a group from the 28th floor exit the elevators, go outside, have a smoke and then take the ride back up.

If it took 4 minutes for each elevator ride, and 7 minutes to smoke a cigarette, that would be 15 minutes per break. If 3 of those trips were scheduled breaks, then 4 of those “breaks” would be on company time. That would mean about 60 minutes per day, per person, would be devoted to extra paid breaks denied to the non-smokers.

I always wondered if the non-smokers at companies like that had done the math themselves and complained about it.

Turns out they did…and they do.

A Japanese company has decided to take action on the issue. Piala Inc. has begun offering non-smokers 6 extra paid vacation days. The policy was enacted not only to help bring some fairness to non-smokers, but also to give a reward to those who choose to quit the habit. In fact, the CEO of Piala has reported at least 4 people quit smoking thanks to this policy.

Other companies have also been finding positive methods to encourage people to quit tobacco. General Electric has been experimenting with offering up to $750.00 for tobacco cessation programs. The Nuclear Energy Institute offers tobacco free employees a reduction of $500.00 on their annual health insurance premiums.

According to the American Lung Association companies can save almost $6,000.00 per year for every employee who quits tobacco. It’s no wonder that it’s becoming more common for organizations to offer wellness programs and other incentives to encourage their staff stop smoking, chewing and vaping.

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By Phil Berbig

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