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Holy Smoke!

Public Survey Shows 93% of Balinese Want Smoking Restrictions in Public Places while Religious Leaders Want Temples and Religious Ceremonies Off-Limits to Smoking.

(8/26/2011) Beritabali.com says a survey conducted by the provincial government of Bali shows  93% of Bali’s residents support the implementation and enforcement of non-smoking areas.

While the public seems to strongly support anti-smoking measures, legislators in the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) however continue to struggle with the final draft of new anti-smoking rules.

The head of the Bali Health Service, Nyoman Sutedja, told the press he was delighted with the results of the public survey that, somewhat surprisingly, found that even 80.7% of active smokers support the establishment of smoke-free zones.

Sutedja said many of the diseases suffered by the Balinese are in the form of cardiovascular disease connected with smoking, including congested lungs and high blood pressure.

Of great concern to Sutedja are results from the same survey showing wider use of tobacco by 10-year-old children in Bali. A 2007 survey determined 24.9% of ten-year-old children smoked, a number that has increased to 31% among 10-year-olds in Bali by 2010.

Religious Temples to Be Included in Smoking Ban

The chairman of the Hindu High Council (Parisadha Hindu Darma Indonesia), Ngurah Sudiana, is calling on legislators to include Puras or religious temples in Bali in those areas off-limit to smoking together with all religious gatherings.

The call for the smoking ban at religious events is a surprise, given the tradition of providing free cigarettes whenever hosting or organizing a religious ceremony.