A new bylaw banning smoking in hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities was passed by the Bali government this week, but will not come into effect before approval from the central government.
The long-discussed ruling requires all “tourism support facilities” as well as other public areas such as temples, schools and churches to be smoke-free, and has the personal backing of Governor I Made Mangku Pastika.
The law, which also bans smoking on public transport and in government offices, as well as the sale and advertising of tobacco in affected places, was passed on Monday at a Bali legislative council (DPRD) plenary meeting headed by deputy parliamentary chairman I Gusti Bagus Alit Putra.
“I want all people to be healthy and the bylaw is an implementation of the 2009 Health Law,” said Pastika.
Breaking the new bylaw could lead to a six-month jail term or a Rp50-million (US$5,450) fine.
Pastika said he believed most foreign visitors to Bali would understand and support the move, but that there would be more difficulty convincing locals to comply.
“I think tourists will understand. Instead, it is Bali’s people who often do not understand,” he said.
Pastika’s sentiments were echoed by Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, chairman of the Bali Tourism Board.
“Every time I am invited for a hearing at the DPRD, members smoke in the meeting room,” he said. “But I don’t think we will have a problem from tourists,” he said.
Nyoman Sutedja, head of the Bali Health Department, said the authorities would conduct individual checks on businesses and other public places to assess compliance with the law, and to award rankings.
“There will be hotels with blue, yellow or red category ratings. The blue category means totally free from cigarette smoke,” he said.
The 22-article bylaw, which is an implementation of the 2009 Health Law provisions, will not be put into force, however, until it is evaluated by the Home Affairs Ministry. Pastika said an extensive socialisation process, with public education carried out through various methods, would be run to inform people about the ban.
According to government figures, 31 percent of people over the age of 10 smoke in Bali. A preliminary survey to canvass support for the bylaw last year revealed 93.1 percent support, according to officials.Filed under: Headlines