Companies are using Incentive and Vacation Days to encourage Employees NOT TO SMOKE

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Non-smokers have long lamented the fact that they get fewer work breaks than their colleagues who step out several times a day for a cigarette. Resentment starts to build, and that can be bad for company morale—and business. 

Piala Inc offers six extra paid vacation days:

According to The Telegraph, the Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. offered non-smokers six extra paid vacation days to make up for the daily downtime they’re been missing out on, which works out to be about 15 minutes per smoke break.

The policy was introduced after a non-smoking employee added a complaint about smoke breaks into the company’s suggestion box.

Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for Piala Inc. told, “One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems.”

After hearing about the complaint, the company’s CEO, Takao Asuka, decided to give nonsmoking employees time off to compensate. He added.

The frequent cigarette breaks meant many employees were away from their desks upwards of 15 minutes each day, Matsushima added.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” said, Asuka

GE finds that paying smokers to quit boosts success rate:

GE introduced a wellness program directed at smoking cessation. This consisted of education about the harmful effects of smoking and links to community programs. However, all employees, whether study participants or not, had equal access to these programs. A study at General Electric finds that paying smokers to quit boosts success rate.

A 2004 study involving General Electric found that offering up to $750 in cash incentives led to three times as many people successfully quitting after six months compared to a control group—a finding that was confirmed by studies published in 2015 and 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“This kind of reward system provides them with direct, positive feedback in the present,” not just delayed, intangible health benefits, said Dr. Kevin Volpp, the lead researcher of the study.

How to convince employees to quit smoking

Smoking harms not only the smoker but also those around him. A smoke-free workplace can improve the health of your employees and reduce your liability; it can also make your employees more productive and efficient. Once the employer decides to address smoking in the workplace, it can very well be done. Though for every office the policies would differ some of the common ways to run quit smoking programs at the workplace are as below:

  • Be the Role Model.
  • Create a written Smoke-free Policy.
  • Invest in Wellness Programs.
  • Employees must utilize the only designated smoking area located directly outside the main employee entrance during lunch and break periods only.
  • Launch anti-smoking campaigns encouraging people to stop smoking with ads, posters, interactive sessions, workshops, etc at workplaces.
  • Recognition, Paying Incentive and Vacation Days to smokers for quitting boosts the success rate.
  • Exercise progressive discipline to those employees who violate your company policy

Present Anti-smoking Law in India

  • According to the present anti-smoking law in India, smoking in public places is banned all over the country and this was effective from 2 October 2008.
  • The minimum age of buying tobacco products is 18 years.
  • Penalty for smoking in public places is Rs. 200.
  • No person below the age of 18 years should be engaged in cultivation, processing, sale of cigarettes, tobacco or tobacco products.
  • It is illegal to employ anyone below 18 years of age for any work related to the tobacco industry. Displaying and selling tobacco products in prohibited public places is illegal. Any person found guilty in this regard will be fined Rs. 10,000.
  • Direct and indirect advertisements of all tobacco products are banned.
  • Selling tobacco products within an area of 100 metres enclosing schools and educational institutions is prohibited.
  • It is mandatory for tobacco products to carry specified health warnings.

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