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Ignorance of the Law or a Smoke Screen?

Bali Officials Determine that Most Hotels in Kuta Failing to Enforce New Rules Banning Smoking in Public Areas

(9/28/2012) A survey conducted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at starred hotels in Kuta carried out by provincial enforcement officers (Satpol PP-Bali) and working units of the provincial government (SKPD) revealed that most properties have yet to implement the Smoke-Free-Law of 2011 in their public areas.

Inilah.com reports that the survey team paid calls at starred hotels that included the Hard Rock Hotel, Mercure Kuta, Harris Kuta, Legian Paradiso, Holiday Inn Baruna, Bali Rani, Discovery Kartika Plaza, Kuta Paradiso and Bali Dynasty.

According to the head of the Disease Prevention Service of Bali’s Health Service, Ayu Rai Andayani, the majority of hotels in Kuta have are not following the smoke-free-zone rules under the new law, proven by the large number of ashtrays found in enclosed lobby areas. In addition, the survey team failed to find the required signage forbidding smoking in public areas.

According to inilah.com, the managers of the hotels are sidestepping any responsibility, claiming they did not know that their enclosed lobbies and other areas of their hotels are “no-smoking-zones.”

The lack of signage and the ready accessibility of ashtrays feed a situation in which hotels guests smoking in lobbies remains a common sight. Moreover, those smoking in areas where smoking is now forbidden include both domestic and foreign tourist, as well as tourist guides.

Ayu responds insisting that most hotels have been informed of the non-smoking rules on several occasions. She further contends that hotels are still refusing to post no-smoking signs in their hotels, claiming in their defense that there’s no space for such signage or that the required signs would be aesthetically displeasing.

Currently most hotels still supply ashtrays in their lobbies, with some hotels providing specific smoking areas in the lobby – a situation specifically not allowed under the no-smoking legislation.

The enforcement team did not take direct action against the subject hotel’s management or those caught smoking in public areas. “All we did was seize the ashtrays in the lobbies as proof of their violations. We have tried to educate the management and the hotels’ employees on the no-smoking regulations in order that they can enforce the rules on their own in the future,” said Ayu.

The enforcement team also reportedly reprimanded hotel guests found to be smoking, advising them that they were breaking the law.