Japanese company offers non-smoking workers extra 6 days off

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A Japanese company is rewarding its non-smoking employees with an additional six days off a year.

The idea behind the vacation perk is to compensate non-smoking employees for the extra time their smoking counterparts get outside with the multiple cigarette breaks they take throughout the day.

Japanese marketing firm Piala decided to implement its new extra time off policy after an employee submitted a message in the company's suggestion box complaining about the frequent breaks smokers were taking.

Piala estimated that on a daily basis, smoking workers took upwards of 15 minutes away from their desk to light up while on the clock. 

The company said the new policy was intended not as a penalty against employees who smoke, but rather as an incentive to encourage those who light up to quit.

The extra time off plan was announced in September and appears to have already shown some success as an incentive.

Four employees have reportedly since decided to give up smoking.

The idea is getting a lot of attention in Japan, where more than 18 percent of adults smoke, according to the World Health Organization.

While that figure has fallen sharply from recent decades, Japan still has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the world. 

In the U.S., about 15 percent of American adults smoke, according to the WHO. 

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.