Japanese company offers cash reward for smokers who quit
It pays to quit smoking - and to snitch on those who don't.
The Japanese branch of a German lingerie company has begun rewarding employees who quit smoking 30,000 yen (dlrs 260) in cash, company spokeswoman Hiromi Shinta said Thursday.
Triumph International (Japan) Ltd. started the incentive program at its main Tokyo office and throughout its local sales offices in July. Of 400 eligible employees â€” half of whom are smokers_ 52 joined and no one has returned to smoking yet, she said.
"We have always had a non-smoking policy on company premises â€” this is just the next step," Shinta said.
The program also awards 10,000 yen (dlrs 86) to employees who report on colleagues breaking their word.
Smokers who don't uphold their end of the bargain risk losing their cash reward, as well as having to pay a fine. The spokeswoman would not confirm how much.
Japan has one of the highest rates of smoking in the industrialized wsorld, with 47.4 percent of men and 11.5 percent of women smoking, according to the latest government study, which was conducted in 2000. The figures indicate a slight downward trend among men, while the number of female smokers has remained stable, Health Ministry spokesman Koichiro Hoshino said.