A Japanese company just announced that they will reward their non-smoking employees with six additional vacation days each year.

The reasons aren't just to encourage kicking the habit but to make up for the estimated time the smoking staff gets "off work" for their multiple daily smoke breaks. Does it irritate you that your smoking co-workers get to take the extra time for smoke breaks?

Having worked in the radio industry for over 30 years I've seen some big changes when it comes to smoking and the workplace. When I first started on the air smoking wasn't allowed in the studios. It was back in the "old days" but engineries discovered that the smoke wasn't kind on the recording equipment and finally asked the Dj's to "keep it out of the studio." I do clearly remember it was the aroma of cigarette smoke and coffee that let you know you were indeed a radio station. The place ran on the combination.

The realities of the health concerns really hit home with me over a decade ago when a coworker was diagnosed with throat cancer. That was devastating for someone who talked for a living. It ended his career and his life.

Should Grand Junction companies follow this Japanise company's lead and start rewarding non-smokers or would that be discrimination? If you smoke would an extra week of vacation be incentive enough to quit?

Credit: CBS Denver 


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