Compared to Australia, Japan has pretty lax smoking rules and laws. The ridiculous concept of a “smoking” and “non-smoking” section of a restaurant is still alive and well, and cigarette vending machines ensure you’re never short of a hit.

Smokers light up in a smoking room outside Narita Airport. Picture: Flikr/thekevinchang

But as Japan’s smoking population continues to decline, some rather bizarre rules and legally enforced regulations have come into play. There are the designated “smoking rooms”, where users gas each other with their second hand smoke in a tiny cube and cryptic courtesy messages in JR trains. And while it’s long been considered a social faux pas, smoking while walking has become a fineable offense in many large cities since 2002.

Nevertheless, it was still a surprise to hear that a Japanese Resort company is now refusing to employ smokers.

Yahoo Japan reports that luxury hotel chain, Hoshino Resort Group, no longer accepts job applications from smokers.

When would-be applicants go to the company’s recruitment page, before they do anything, they’re met with this:

“Before you look over our employment information, do you smoke?”

Honisho Resort Group has begun a new policy of only hiring non-smokers. Picture: hoshinoresort.com

Clicking ‘no’ (the right answer) takes users onto a second ‘Welcome’ page, which explains that the Hoshino Resort Group is aiming to have all employees as non-smokers.

“You have taken your first step towards working with the Hoshino Resort Group.”

Honisho Resort Group has begun a new policy of only hiring non-smokers. Picture: hoshinoresort.com

On the other hand, users who chose ‘yes’ are met with a dark screen with a long explanation as to why their smoking habits deem them as unacceptable employees.

Honisho Resort Group has begun a new policy of only hiring non-smokers. Picture: hoshinoresort.com

There are three bullet points – employee efficiency, workplace efficiency and workplace environment – which basically explain that it is not in the company’s financial interests to employ people who require regular breaks, facilities in which to take the regular breaks, and whose attention is often divided between the task on hand and when they can have their next cigarette.

Some people have taken to social media, arguing that this new employment strategy is discriminatory, while others have argued that it is a logical and healthy step taken by the company.

But what do you think? Has the Hoshino Resort Group taken things too far or should more action be taken to discourage smoking?