Seal of Jakarta
October 17, 2010 - The Jakarta administration has said it will shut down smoking rooms located inside buildings starting next month, as it moves to enforce tough new anti-smoking regulations. Ridwan Pandjaitan, head of enforcement at the Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD), said on Thursday, October 14th that building managers had been given enough time since the gubernatorial decree was issued in May to shut down smoking areas inside buildings. “People are not allowed to smoke inside buildings anymore,” he said. “This new decree makes clear that smoking areas inside buildings are now forbidden.”
The decree states that smoking areas must be located outside buildings and away from entrances and exits. The measure is a revision of a Jakarta Environmental Management Agency , which was issued to enforce another gubernatorial decree specifying certain areas as smoke-free. “We are targeting 800 smoking areas initially. If we find them still functioning, we will shut them down,” Ridwan said.
“Every day, starting from November 1, we will visit five randomly selected buildings around the city. It is our hope that this will act as a deterrent and encourage all building owners to get rid of smoking areas in their buildings.” The agency also plans to name and shame building managements found to be in violation of the new regulation by publishing their names in local media.
But Stefanus Ridwan, chairman of the Indonesian Shopping Center Association (APPBI), said the members of his association had never been properly notified of the details of the new decree. “We all received notification letters when the 2005 bylaw was issued. But with this one, we only heard about it in the news,” he said.
“When the 2005 bylaw was issued, sales in cafes dropped 70 percent. We do not want this to happen again. Cafes go hand in hand with smoking.
“I hope the BPLHD is open to discuss this matter and doesn’t just go off and begin raiding cafes. We’ve already seen a drop in the number of shoppers since the rainy season began.”
Dollaris Riauaty Suhadi, executive director of the Swisscontact Indonesia Foundation, a not-for-profit development organization, said on Thursday that it would join the BPLHD and other environmental groups to monitor compliance with the regulation.
Ditian Corisa, a member of the City Council’s Commission E, which oversees welfare issues, said she fully supported the plan to rid Jakarta’s malls and offices of smoking rooms. “They have been given ample time to shut down those areas. And the raids will begin in November so they still have a couple more weeks to shut them down,” she said. “The time has come for building owners and managers to pitch in and help achieve a smoke-free Jakarta.”
According to the Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco, an estimated 60 percent of Indonesian men smoke cigarettes, as do a “disturbing” number of children. (Delegates to APACT2010 conference urge Indonesia to sign WHO FCTC.)
On Wednesday, the government said it planned to raise the excise tax on tobacco by 5 percent next year to help meet state revenue targets. Indonesia - may increase tobacco excise tax by 5% if the tobacco industry approves..) “Just 5 percent? That’s a joke,” said Kartono Muhammad, a leading anti-tobacco campaigner and former chairman of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI). “That just means that a pack of cigarettes will cost about Rp 1,000 [11 cents] more. That will not stop anyone from buying cigarettes, especially those who are addicted,” he said.
Reference: Crackdown on Smoking Rooms Set to Start Nov. 1Dofa Fasila, Dessy Sagita & Ulma Haryanto, Jakarta Globe, 10/14/2010.
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