The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Not just pupils but school principals will be thinking twice before lighting up on school grounds under a new smoking ban scheduled to take effect Saturday.
The Jakarta Education Agency has asked people who have seen anybody smoking on school property -- students, teachers or principals -- to write in to PO BOX 0808 JKT.
""We need greater public participation,"" said the head of the agency's basic education unit, Suparlan Kasihadi, on Wednesday.
He was addressing a seminar on health education for teenagers held by Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama.
The smoking prohibition is stipulated in the 2005 bylaw on air pollution control, which will take effect the same day.
However, the law will not be enforced until Feb. 16.
The ban ends smoking in schools, playgrounds or places where children gather, houses of worship, public transportation, hospitals and workplaces.
Violators will be given three warnings before they are charged. If found guilty they could face up to six months' jail or a Rp 50 million fine.
According to city assistant for people's welfare Rohana Manggala the city administration has issued a gubernatorial decree that similarly gives students three warnings before they are expelled for smoking.
""We are now formulating guidelines for the implementation of the smoking ban,"" Rohana said.
She said 25 percent of smokers in Indonesia were under the age of 15.
""The regulation will be beneficial for students in the future, particularly when they enter the workforce as most workplaces won't let them smoke on the job,"" Rohana said.
Mondastri Korib, a health agency doctor, told the seminar students were starting to smoke because society did not discourage them.
""Television programs portray smokers as cool, and many celebrities are smokers. High school students can usually get around the age restrictions on cigarettes purchase,"" he said.
He said the habit often started at home.
""Fathers who smoke don't stop their children from smoking,"" Mondastri said.