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Council approves sanctions for smokers

24 Oct 2008. With the introduction of a new anti-smoking bylaw on 22 October Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, will impose sanctions on people caught smoking in public areas.

After a year-long campaign, the new regulation was endorsed by the municipal legislative council and will take effect in October 2009 with maximum fines of IDR 50 million (EUR 3,944) and/or three months' imprisonment for anyone caught smoking in public spaces.

Under the regulation, public spaces are defined as any public area, but authorities will most probably focus on ports, bus terminals, railway stations, public transportation vehicles, government buildings, hospitals, hotels and campuses - which may designate limited areas for smoking.

Anti-smoke Public Networks coordinator Sardiyoko said his organization and other NGOs would help Surabaya to generate an anti-smoking campaign and would monitor law enforcement in the field.

Vice mayor Arif Affandi said that the city had received IDR 2 billion from government revenue that came from cigarette excise, saying the funds would be used to provide smoking areas in public places across the city and to raise awareness about the anti-smoking bylaw. (sra)