tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Clearing The Air On Tobacco Order 2005

As long as you smoke in an area not listed on the ‘prohibited’ list of the Tobacco Order 2005, then you will not face the penalty of a fine.

This clarification was obtained yesterday from Aimi, a Health Education Officer of the Tobacco Control Unit. “The list only says where you cannot smoke, because we do not encourage people to smoke,” she said. “People can smoke anywhere as long as the location is not listed under the places where it is stated in the Order that smoking is prohibited.”

She told the Sunday Bulletin, “It doesn’t state in our law where you can smoke. We don’t provide places where you can smoke. Places that are not in our I ist are places where you can smoke, including homes.”

Asked how far away smokers have to be from non-smokers to be able to smoke without facing a penalty, she said they have to be “away from other people.”

“If in restaurants, you can smoke if you go beyond their premises, but away from other people - away from the public, where no one walks, and no one is around, except maybe other smokers,” she said.

She also made it clear that it is not a violation to smoke in a car in a public area, because that is one’s own property. However, smoking in cars on government premises is considered an offence that can be charged with a fine.

“In government premises, you have to be beyond the fences - you cannot smoke in parking areas because those are under the regulation of government premises.”

Speaking about the walking area in front of the Mall in Gadong, she said, “Smoking is not allowed because it’s part of a public walkway.

“Some of the places where smoking is prohibited are walkways, corridors, and even the staircases in a building. So that area is not allowed because when we did our compounding on June 4, we compounded most people around that area.”

She also revealed that enforcement officers are patrolling different areas everyday.

“We’ve been around everyday, but not just at one place, we go to other places too,” she said. “Not specifically to Gadong, we’ve gone to Kiulap and even government buildings.”

On the possibility of designated smoking areas, she said, “We don’t provide them with any designated areas in Brunei because we don’t want to encourage them to smoke.

“In Singapore they have (a line) an area in restaurants but they don’t have proper ventilation so it’s also affecting other people with second-hand smoke. That’s why, that’s the reason we don’t provide that kind of service because the aim of this tobacco order is to protect other people - the public. It’s not to ask people to stop smoking immediately but just to control where they are smoking.”

She said that no smoking areas had been designated “because we want to protect the public from second-hand smoke. Unless you have a proper ventilation system, then I don’t know.”

It was also revealed yesterday that to date, since mid-May this year, there have been 112 cases of the Tobacco Order being breached. The breakdown is as follows: restaurants - 8 cases, youths under age 18 caught smoking - 12 cases, compounding - 90 cases, retailers who did not use signage - 1, manager of premises - 1.

Asked if any tourists had been caught, she answered yes, and said, “Unfortunately we have to compound tourists (smoking in prohibited areas), even if they have no idea about these regulations.

“The thing is, if we become lenient to them, then the will say our enforcement is not effective. If we make an excuse for this tourist, and locals see that, then they would want to be excused as well, so this whole thing wouldn’t be properly or effectively enforced. So we have to compound them, unfortunately.”

On how it might affect tourism in Brunei, she said, “I think it paints a good image because if you see it, we’re trying to stop people from smoking, to protect the public so they know that in Brunei they’re strong in enforcement of tobacco products, that is, active enforcement of stopping people from smoking in public places.”

She also said that the unit is aiming at retailers who sell cigarettes to individuals under 18, without asking for identification.

“We’re aiming at them as well because even when we counsel the under-18s, they come to our office and we provide them an appointment to attend the Stop Smoking Clinic. We ask them where they get the cigarettes. Mostly, they say that they get it from friends who are above 18 and some of them do buy cigarettes from retailers, and we ask where. We are going to take action on those retailers because it’s part of our law as well - those who sell to under-18s are committing an offence and they can be brought to court.”

She then explained the Tobacco Control Unit’s sudden active enforcement. “This order was actually enforced in 2008 but it was enforced passively - we just went around warning people, but that didn’t work, so we ended up moving on to active enforcement where we compound people.”

“We started in mid-May, doing all the fines, and before that we went on the radio and TV to tell people about this compounding. World No Tobacco Day is on May 31, and before that we sort of wanted people to know we are doing active enforcement for World No Tobacco Day as well as the period after that - we’re going do this continually every day because passive enforcement doesn’t work. That is why we are doing active enforcement.”

Asked how resistant the people who have been caught had been, she said, “One thing is that they don’t want to provide the details and if they don’t, we have to bring them to court because they’re not cooperating, and part of the Order says that if they’re not letting us do our work, it’s an offence.

“So far they try to make more excuses, like they tell us they’ve left their ICs or they’re just new and don’t know about these non-smoking areas. There are so many excuses but we cannot accept that,” she continued. “One of them told us that he left his IC at home, so we wanted to bring him to the police and then suddenly he pulled out his IC. They’re just making excuses because they don’t want to be fined.

“We try to make people aware of it from TV promos, posters, radio and newspapers,” she said. “There is no excuse for people not to know.”

One excuse thrown at the enforcers by some who were caught was the lack of a no-smoking sign.

“The responsibility of managers (of a premise) is to make sure no one is smoking on their premises. It’s not our part who are supposed to give the signage, because it’s the managers and owners of the premises who should provide the signage, and those people who don’t provide the signage will be fined,” she said. “Those places like shopping areas that provide bins with ashtrays on top, we are in the process of removing those kinds of ashtrays because people assume that premises that have those ashtrays are the places where people can smoke. We don’t want to give that kind of impression to the public so we’re trying to ask managers to remove that kind of dustbin.”

Asked if there had been a decline in the number of people smoking in public, she said, “As a matter of fact, we went to the Mall today, over lunch. Compared to last time, we only found a few people smoking near the entrance, compared to the 72 we caught last time.”

Speaking about how active enforcement of the Tobacco Order could affect businesses, she said, “Smokers in Brunei represent maybe around’ 18% (of population), so there are more non-smokers. Non-smokers go to restaurants as well and usually, when smokers sit at restaurants, they usually stay for hours, compared to non-smokers who just go as soon as they’ve finished their food, so the turnover of the table is much faster, and businesses can get profit from that.”

On the Tobacco Order 2005′s origins, she said, “This is from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). This is actually the requirement of the FCTC. We usually liaise with other Southeast Asian countries on their enforcement and how they do the regulation and all because recently, like in our regulations, we have to specify percentage of the labelling. Other countries also have that kind of labelling and they’re thinking of making it a larger percentage so we’ve been liaising on that and other points.”
Written by Danial Norjidi
, 20 June 2010

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