12 November 2008

Jakarta Smokin' or Smokin' Jakarta?


Those of you that enjoy a nicotine fix need to be a little wary about where you are going to get that next fix during the period from 17 through 27 November 2008. The Government of Jakarta and several Anti-Smoking NGOs have decided that they are going to up the ante on smokers and conduct raids during this period (cartoon).


There is a Regulation, actually a couple of them (No. 2 of 2005 and No. 75 of 2005), that has been issued by the Government of Jakarta that prohibits smoking in certain places and requires businesses and others to provide special smoking rooms to cater for those who cannot go without a nicotine fix.


The places that are most likely to be targeted are office buildings, medical facilities, malls and shopping centers, places of worship, schools, and public transportation, among others. This seems to be an initiative that is being driven more by those concerned with the growing abuse of tobacco rather than any increased interest from the government in terms of implementing the 2005 Regulation.


The cold hard reality is that the government after the initial posting of signs declaring certain areas non-smoking, the government lost interest in enforcement. I remember when the Regulation first came into effect. I was taking a train from Gambir Station to Bandung. As I was waiting for the train to arrive, I remember having a good laugh to myself as I watched a young fella light up and puff away. Why the good laugh? He was standing under one of those no smoking signs, the red circle with a cigarette inside the circle and a red line through it. It was one of those moments, where you go, "nah, this is definitely not going to work."


Even now, each day in the building where I work I watch smokers line the corridors puffing away. There are no designated smoking areas, there are no non-smoking area signs or if there are they are routinely ignored. There is no enforcement from building management or the security personnel roaming the corridors. If I am not mistaken building management can be fined for any failure to enforce the provisions in their buildings.


Let the fun and games begin.

8 comments:

accordingtod said...

wow... i'm impressed. jakarta's been the smokers' heaven for a long long time, now they're trying to do a smoke ban. hm...
like you said, let the fun and games begin!

Rob Baiton said...

Accordingtod...

My guess is that it will remain a smokers heaven for a while yet. Having a law or regulation in place is one thing, enforcing it is another.

In any event, there needs to be an understanding on the part of the people who the law regulates that it applies to them and they are required to obey it.

There needs to be an attitudinal shift, perhaps even a cultural shift, that smoking is bad for you and those around you and that the government is intent on limiting where you can indulge in your habit.

Hence, let the fun and games begin.

schmerly said...

Rob..

Every day on the streets of JKT you’ll see the law enforcers (AKA police) openly smoking while on duty! hardly setting a very good example to the rest of us are they?
I’m a smoker but I do respect those that aren’t, and I try not to let my filthy habit interfere with non smokers, I’m struggling at the moment to give up this bloody habit, saying that I’ve got one fired up at the moment!

Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

I have never really been a smoker. Enjoyed a good cigar, preferably Cuban (I am sure there has to be political reasons I should not enjoy a Cuban cigar), and will probably have my next one to celebrate the Kid's entry into the world.

That said, my missus went cold turkey and has not had a smoke since. It has been more than two years.

schmerly said...

Rob..

Good on 'er indoors to give up the weed, she has more willpower than me, tell her schmerly said so! not that that will change her life or anything.

Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

The missus reads my blog so I guess she already knows...

mia said...

I think most of us Indonesian never take the time to think of how hazardous smoking is to your health. Everybody just accepts smokers, even near children, without thinking what harm can the smoke cause. When the cigarette industry is so big that it feeds thousands of workers at any one plant, they can afford to muddle the side effect.

I came from a city known for its number of cigarette factories, and I used to be a smoker (quit cold turkey 3 years go). I find that ex-smokers bitch about smokers the most! Nowadays I feel indignant just standing next to a person who smokes, not because I secretly want a puff (I honestly lost all desire to smoke), but because I feel like my lungs are now clean and this wanker is polluting me again!

Maybe we should put only ex-smoker cops on the street ;)

Rob Baiton said...

Mia...

My wife is the same. She is a lot more bothered by smokers now and cannot stand to be in a smoke-filled room. It is not because of any craving for a smoke but rather because it makes her feel ill.

Are there such people as ex-smoker cops?