City to Kick Start Smoking Ban Once More on No-Tobacco Day
The Jakarta administration hopes to use World No Tobacco Day on Sunday to generate momentum for its poorly enforced smoking ban in buildings and public places.
On Sunday, the city administration will hold three events in the capital: the regular monthly car-free Sunday, World No Tobacco Day and the launching of events commemorating Jakarta’s 482nd anniversary, said Ridwan Panjaitan, the head of the law enforcement unit at the Jakarta Environmental Board.
“On that day, we urge people not to use their vehicles and not to smoke,” Ridwan said.
He also said that on Sunday several associations would declare their support for the enforcement of no-smoking areas across the city.
“Representatives from 15 associations have vowed to support the lawful enforcement of the no-smoking areas. Such support is needed to strengthen agency’s actions and to act as a follow up,” Ridwan said.
Ridwan said that the associations included those in the fields of education, religion and health, as well as public and work places.
A Jakarta regulation and a gubernatorial decree prohibits smoking in seven areas — public spaces in offices and commercial buildings, health facilities, workplaces, places dedicated both to education and to children’s activities, houses of worship and public transportation.
Under the regulation, passed four years ago, violators could face up to Rp 50 million ($4,750) in fines or up to six months in jail. But the ban has been poorly enforced.
Ridwan said lack of human resources was one of the obstacles to effective enforcement of the ban.
“It’s not a simple process,” he said. “We have to choose judges and adjust to their schedules.
“And we don’t have the resources to carry out regular raids,” Ridwan said.
He said the one day enforcement of the smoking ban last April was more about prompting offices and building managers to implement the policy internally.
The tobacco-free day was also in synergy with car-free day because the two involved environment issues, he said.
Ridwan said that car-free day, held on the last Sunday of every month, had been proven to decrease air pollution in the area it was held.
Air-quality evaluations conducted during car-free days have shown significant drops in pollutant concentration levels.