The Jakarta Post reports that an anti-smoking group – The Bali Tobacco Control Initiative is urging the government to cancel the World Tobacco Asia (WTA) conference planned in Bali in 2014.
The anti-smoking Initiative is comprised of members from Bali’s Udayana University’s Public Health Department.
Coordinator of the Bali Tobacco Control Initiative, Made Kerta Duana, said: “The conference in Bali is against our commitment to encourage people to live healthily without cigarettes. We are urging the government to ban the conference from being held in Bali.”
WTA is held annually at different locations around the world within the international tobacco industry.
The Bali conference – World Tobacco Asia 2014 will take place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center September 24-25, 2014. The two-day gathering includes exhibitions, conferences and product presentations.
The conference is being promoted to delegates as essential for networking and the promotion and marketing of tobacco products. Organizers say WTA 2014 will be the “perfect opportunity” to gain a business edge.
The conference comes to Bali after the ratification of new smoke-free policy striving to reduce the use of tobacco on the Island. The law, enacted in 2011, bans smoking in hotel, restaurants, tourist attractions, schools, shopping centers, government offices and other public areas. Restrictions are also place on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products, which may place the coming conference in direct conflict with the law
Those found to be breaking the anti-smoking rules could be subject to fines and imprisonment.
Duana contends that hosting the WTA conference in Bali would be ill-timed as the Island continues to struggle to enforce the new anti-smoking rules.
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