It was recently reported that non-smokers at a marketing firm in Japan are being given six extra days of leave each year, because they spend more time at their desks than smokers.

We all work with smokers. Invariably, after just an hour in the office, they’ll pop off to indulge in their disgusting habit while the rest of us labour on.

An hour later, away they go again, to while away another 10 minutes. Then they come back, with that lingering, stale whiff of tobacco smoke that turns one’s stomach.

Ten minutes every hour equates to 80 minutes in an eight-hour working day. That’s more than an hour! It’s 400 minutes – or 6.6 hours – in a five-day week. Over a year, that adds up to about 345 hours, or almost 43 days. That’s well in excess of the six days being given to non-smoking employees by Piala Inc.

Maybe employers could consider paying non-smokers bigger salaries or, even better, docking smokers’ pay

The firm should be applauded for its fairness to hard-working employees, and getting the message to smokers that they are hooked on a dumb habit that’s killing not just themselves but also company time. After all, it’s unfair that smokers are able to offload work onto those with healthier lifestyles.

Going out for lunch (when you’re not forced to eat at your desk to carry the load for other, less productive colleagues) invariably involves walking out the door of the building and onto the street, where these nicotine-addicted reprobates loiter. That can work wonders in putting you off your food. Cigarette butts litter the pavement, too, because many smokers are just too lazy to go and find an ashtray.

Other companies should follow the lead of Piala and reward non-smokers for the 43 more days they invest in their companies each year than their shirking colleagues. Maybe employers could consider paying non-smokers bigger salaries or, even better, docking smokers’ pay. An hour’s worth of cash per working day should suffice.

Now that would be an incentive to make people quit their despicable habit.