Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, told Kyodo News, "I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion".
Many Japanese firms are encouraging their workers to quit smoking, especially as the 2020 Summer Olympics draw near. For Western New York, that could helpful in combating smoking as both Erie and Niagara Counties are above the state average in smokers.
About 1 in 5 adults in Japan smoke, and smoking rooms are commonly found in offices and public establishments.
In many countries, including Japan and Britain, smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death.
Japan lags behind other developed nations in terms of smoke-free policies and the social pressure to quit is less intense. But the Japanese government is facing worldwide pressure to cut down on public smoking before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
As you can see in the photo below, public spaces in Japan are eerily reminiscent of what USA customers might have encountered before statewide bans took off in the mid-1990s.