Jakarta to scrap smoking rooms in public places and buildings, 30/03/10

The city will extend the smoking ban in public places and buildings after finding that smoking rooms in buildings do not stop smoke infiltrating non-smoking areas.  The Jakarta Environment Management Board (BPLHD) head of law enforcement Ridwan Panjaitan said his office would revise the 2005 gubernatorial decree to do this. “People working in the buildings can still smoke, but they will have to smoke outside the buildings,” he said Monday.


He said the smoking free regulation would be imposed on all spaces in buildings because a laboratory test found that the non-smoking areas were contaminated by smoking rooms when they were available.
The 2005 bylaw on air pollution control states that people are not allowed to smoke at all in five types of facilities, namely public transportation, healthcare buildings, schools, children’s areas and places of worship. In offices and public spaces, including malls, restaurants, terminals airports and train stations.
Ridwan said he realized the new regulation could spark opposition in night clubs, bars and restaurants, but he was confident the entertainment and food industry would comply once they knew the rules.
He said according to a survey by BPLHD and the Swisscontact Indonesia Foundation with the University of Indonesia Demography Institute, that 96 percent of respondents supported the plan for 100 percent free smoking areas.
The survey said 93 percent of the respondents were aware of the regulations and 60 percent of them stated that the non-smoking areas regulation should prohibit people to smoke in public closed areas.
“The survey revealed that 62 percent of the respondents would still visit restaurants although they would not be allowed to smoke after the ban is imposed,” Ridwan said.
The survey, held from October to November in 2009, involved 747 respondents living in five municipalities in the city. The survey comprised 65 percent females and 34 percent males aged 20-49 years old with education background of Senior High School and above.
The BPLHD, he said, would make an assessment to measure “the level of compliance” of building owners to encourage implementation.
A building will then be given one of four ratings: poor, satisfactory, good and very good.
“We will also publish data on buildings that breach the regulation in the mass media. We hope prestige and shame will be more effective than law enforcement,” he said.
Tulus Abadi from the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) said the city should impose stern sanctions to make this work.
“Publishing information on buildings violating the regulations in the media will only affect them for a while. The city should impose sanctions with a financial impact, like revoking permits,” he told The Jakarta Post.
YLKI found there were violations of the smoking ban in 89 percent of 549 public buses and minivans surveyed in July 2009. In 2008, the foundation found violations of the ban in half of 60 city malls.

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