Incentive to quit smoking: How about paid time off?

Written by:
incentive to quit smoking, cigarette in hand

It often surprises me how many people continue to become addicted to cigarette smoking. The data has been available for so long to basically (IMHO) scare the wits out of anyone even considering taking up the habit. If you’re one of many who are currently battling this addiction, you might be looking for an incentive to quit smoking.

I used to smoke when I was young, back before “the jury was in” on how disastrous it was for human health. We may have been told here or there that it wasn’t a good habit. However, the tobacco companies had not yet been sued and there was no legal age to purchase cigarettes. My dad gave me the incentive to quit smoking that I needed by appealing to the strong will he knew I had. He said it all comes down to deciding that that little rolled up piece of paper is not more powerful than my mind.

Mind over matter is an incentive to quit smoking

My father asked me if I was going to spend my life allowing a tiny cigarette to control me? He knew I was a young, strong-willed woman that liked to make my own decisions. It worked. With some additional, practical ideas from my dad, I kicked the habit. I had a toddler at the time, so that was also a great incentive to quit smoking.

I should note that my dad was far more addicted to cigarettes than I was. He quit to help my eldest brother quit, who had had a stroke at the age of 40. The doctors told him the only reason for the stroke was smoking. My brother was a life-long athlete and sports coach. He otherwise was in excellent physical health and condition.

An employer who provides incentive to quit smoking

It has been decades since I smoked. What prompted me to write this post was an article that recently came across my news feed on Facebook. It was about a Japanese employer who has delighted workers by adding six paid days off to their employment contracts. There is one eligibility requirement. To qualify for the vacation time, you must be a non-smoker.

The employer created this incentive to quit smoking in response to non-smoking workers who kept complaining. They lamented the fact that they worked more hours than their co-workers who smoke. These employees, they said, often take cigarette breaks on the job. The employer agreed and determined that six days’ time was a likely equivalent to the time those who were catching smokes on the job spent away from their duties.

Money and time are valuable incentives

The incentive to quit smoking program has so far been a great success at the company in question. In fact, it has prompted some of the smokers to finally kick the habit so they can get the paid vacation time. Who doesn’t go all-in when it comes to opportunity for more money or time at work? It’ll be interesting to see if other employers adopt similar strategies to increase productivity and improve employee health.

What if this incentive to quit smoking gets out of hand?

I think this incentive to quit smoking idea is great. I can’t help but wonder, however, where it might lead. I can imagine teams of workers imploring the powers that be to offer vacation time to people who don’t take coffee breaks, workers who don’t scroll social media or use personal email on company time.

What about people who rarely use the restroom at work? Should they be rewarded for their iron bladders? Okay, I’m being facetious but think about it. Might it not be less expensive to an employer to simply prohibit smoke breaks at work? Wait. I forgot what country I live in for a moment. That would undoubtedly lead to some sort of mass protest picket line. I can just imagine workers claiming their bosses were discriminating against them for having special needs. Employment law attorneys would have a field day with new claims being filed under hostile work environment categories.

When asked, the employer who created this program said he’d rather offer incentive than penalize or coerce people to quit smoking.

All jokes aside

Overall, I think it’s wonderful if an employer took advantage of an opportunity by offering incentive to quit smoking to workers. Kicking the habit can be tough. This article provides helpful information about habits in general. They can be good or bad. Habits can make or break you. If you want to overcome a bad habit, especially smoking, vaping or other addictions that compromise your health and well-being, I encourage you to read it.

Were you victorious in kicking a bad habit? Tell us about it in the comments! Your story might be the one thing that helps another Hot Mess Press subscriber get a step ahead on his or her own habit-kicking journey!


Share THis