The typical cigarette break lasts about ten minutes, and when taken several times, it adds up, giving smokers more time away from their desk and less time working while at work.
Some may argue that paying smokers and nonsmokers the same wage is unreasonable since they do not spend the same amount of time doing actual work. In 2017, a Japanese corporation agreed to introduce a new policy that requires nonsmokers to take an additional six days of sick time to compensate for the time lost by smokers.
Employees at the Tokyo-based marketing company Piala Inc. complained that they were working longer hours than anyone who took time off to smoke a cigarette.
“Earlier this year, one of our non-smoking employees placed a note in the company suggestion box saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” Hirotaka Matsushima, a company spokesperson, told the newspaper. “Our CEO saw the remark and agreed, so we’re compensating nonsmokers with some extra time off.”
According to Matsushima, the frequent cigarette breaks meant that many workers were away from their desks for up to 15 minutes each day.
The company’s policy adjustment is meant to help employees in the process to stop smoking.
Instead of using penalties or threats to force the employees to quite smoking, they’re using incentives to inspire them to stop smoking.
According to a recent poll, 42% of nonsmokers claim that an additional 3-5 days of sick time is a reasonable trade-off to compensate for smokers, while only 28% of smokers agree.
To better understand this problem, e-cigarette manufacturer Halo polled over 1000 people and discovered that nonsmokers thought 1-2 days was reasonable, but 14% said 6 or more days was preferable. However, more than 38% of smokers believe nonsmokers do not deserve additional time off, and 20% of nonsmokers agree.
According to the study, 81 percent of smokers and 25 percent of nonsmokers thought their smoke breaks were fair.
According to a survey conducted by Halo, smokers spend an average of six days a year taking smoke breaks. Following a nonsmoker’s concern about efficiency, a Japanese marketing firm released a statement announcing the implementation of a new policy giving nonsmokers six additional days off every year.