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03 November 2017, 12:53 | Violet Powell
India is amongst the four countries with maximum cigarettes consumption
Piala Inc.'s headquarters are located on the 29th floor of an office complex, and employees who need a smoke break have to travel to the basement.
The change in company policy is meant to encourage staff to quit smoking.
"But at the same time, it's true that smoking room conversations are mostly about work they exchange ideas and consult each other".
"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", Matsushima told the publication.
"Yes, it's pretty popular", said Matsushima, himself a nonsmoker.
"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion", Asuka told the Japan Times. "Without doing anything, (nonsmokers') vacation increases by six days".
Although the United States has had its own problems with people not taking enough time off from work, Americans aren't smoking as much as they used to. The figure is higher among males and older generations.
Sompo Japan Nippon Kowa Himawari Life Insurance Inc. has introduced an all-day smoking ban at its head office and all business outlets across Japan.
In a country where almost 22% of people smoke- one of the highest rates in the world - Asuka also said the policy should encourage people to quit. But most restaurants and bars still allow smoking, at least in some areas.
Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense.
Many Japanese companies have started out anti-smoking campaigns and have banned smoking at work. Especially those countries which are leading amongst the smoking consumption.
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