Let me preface what I am about to write by saying that I am a non-smoker.  I have never smoked except to impress a girl when I was 14 and promptly coughed my brains out in front of her.  That ended that opportunity. With that said, I did have two parents who both smoked and it is amazing that I never picked up the habit. They both tried to quit smoking but struggled to do so. Therefore, I can appreciate the difficulty it is to stop smoking. I bring this all up because last week I saw where a Japanese marketing firm, Piala Inc, is offering employees an additional week of vacation time to non-smokers.

According to the news story, cigarette breaks, the company estimates, take at least 15 minutes. Non-smokers over a period of time have complained to the company that they were working harder than people who ran out for a nicotine fix several times a day. The company, after investigating, agreed—and CEO Takao Asuka set the new policy.

Could this be the start of something in the American workplace? How many of you have employees who "regularly" spend time smoking while you don't? I'm sure you have thought "here I am working and they are out there smoking and socializing". It will be interesting to see if this new work place policy in Japan catches on here in the United States.