Despite all this, many smokers persist with their habit. People are able to do incredible things once they quit, but it's difficult to do so. While countless smokers want to cease, the addiction is strong and they sometimes have a hard time finding motivation.
It's especially hard to find motivation when there are certain perks to smoking. For example, smokers are given extra breaks at work to go outside and indulge their cravings. Many feel it's unfair they get an extra 10 minutes off each hour to do this.
One company is doing something about this. An employee at the Piala Inc. marketing firm in Japan sent in a complaint to his manager, saying productivity went down when workers took smoke breaks. The company took this into consideration and thought of an ingenious way of dealing with it.
Smoke breaks indeed seemed to cut down on productivity. The company estimated that employees who smoke are away from their desk for about 40 minutes each day. But is it really right to penalize someone like this?
Smoking is even more popular in Japan. Currently, one in five Japanese citizens smoke, and that's the least it's ever been. The country is trying to crack down and encourage even more people to quit before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This plan has already started to show results. Four of the 42 smoking employees at Piala quit. One of them used to go through a pack every two days. Now, they plan on spending their extra six days off playing tennis.
The non-smokers of Piala were obviously elated by this initiative. They got an extra week of vacation each year for doing absolutely nothing. But the reactions of people hearing this story have been mixed.
Many felt that taking some time to relax and stretch is good for you, whether or not cigarettes are involved. It keeps you sharp and refreshed. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to each hour, so it keeps you motivated to accomplish tasks quickly.
Some smokers argued that they do more in 50 minutes than non-smokers do in 60. Though they feel like it's a punishment, like Matsushima said, it's a reward. Several expressed interest in this system arriving in the states.
Despite what you feel about this business practice, it has proven effective in getting employees to quit their bad habit at least at Piala. Hopefully this will catch on in America. After all, a vacation sounds like a much more fun way to quit smoking than using a patch or taking some herb.