Jakarta, Balikpapan Move To Protect Non-Smokers

By webadmin on 10:40 pm Jun 01, 2012
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Lenny Tristia Tambun & Tunggadewa Mattangkilang

The Jakarta and Balikpapan administrations are imposing stricter controls on no-smoking zones.

The capital is restricting the placement of smoking rooms to the outside of buildings, while Balikpapan has banned smoking altogether in eight areas.

Jakarta city administrators revised Gubernatorial Decree No. 88/2010 on no-smoking zones, which initially ordered an end to smoking rooms but is now allowing smoking rooms to be placed outside of buildings in order to comply with a recent Constitutional Court ruling.

The original decree stated that public buildings, “can provide special smoking rooms…”

The Supreme Court removed the option, making it mandatory to provide smoking rooms.

“The issuance of this new gubernatorial decree is to comply with the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Law No. 36/2006 which removed the word ‘can,’ ” said Mara Oloan Siregar, the Jakarta provincial assistant secretary for people’s welfare.

“But that doesn’t mean a special room [for smoking] has to be in the building. This new gubernatorial decree is more strict in terms of the implementation of the non-smoking zone.”

He said that the new gubernatorial decree required building management and transportation operators to ensure that the decree was implemented, and that they provided a means for the public to file complaints by providing a hotline, SMS number or e-mail address.

Every supervisor will receive simple report cards to fill out, along with supervision guidelines, Mara said.

“There will also be an integrated team of supervisors who will supervise multipurpose buildings, such as malls and hotels,” he added.

Mara said that the new gubernatorial decree intensified the implementation of non-smoking zone regulations through guidance, supervision, complaint mechanism and law enforcement.

Building owners must also place posters stating that smoking is banned inside the building and provide numbers for the public to lodge complaints.

“This one is new,” Mara said. “We will ask them to provide the building management’s number so that the public can file complaints. That way, if they see anybody smoking in the building, they can immediately report it through that number.”

Meanwhile, the Balikpapan city administration declared eight areas as non-smoking zones, namely schools, sports areas, houses of worship, playgrounds, public facilities (airport, terminals and malls), hospitals, public transportation and offices. The ban is stipulated under Mayor’s Decree No. 24/2012 regarding the smoking ban.

“To commemorate World Without Tobacco Day, we have declared eight non-smoking zones in Balikpapan,” Balikpapan Health Agency head Dyah Muryani said.

She said the regulation was meant to protect residents who did not smoke because most active smokers came from the middle- to lower-income classes and that they smoked anywhere they liked, disturbing other people and making them feel uncomfortable.

The city administration is also providing health services in all communities to help residents kick their smoking habit. All of the officers have been trained to help residents quit smoking.

“Those who smoke the most are people with middle to lower incomes,” Dyah said. “They are already poor, but they still smoke. That’s just going to create more problems for them.

“We’ve also provided therapy for those who wish to quit smoking in 26 community health centers.”

Active smokers in Balikpapan account for 34.5 percent of Balikpapan’s total population of 600,000 people.