Yogyakarta- University as an educational institution has responsibility to people and its surrounding in using knowledge to change people's way of thinking. In terms of health, it can be done by making people aware of the danger of cigarette and smoke for other people. One way is by applying No Smoking Area (NSA) at campus environment.
That was stated by the Rector of Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta (UMY), Ir. HM Dasron Hamid, M.Sc during a workshop titled "Regional Experience in Applying NSA as a Mandate of Health Regulation No.36 Year 2009" which was conducted by Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Center (MTCC) of UMY in AR Fahrudin seminar room on floor 5 at UMY integrated campus on Saturday (29/10).
Dasron says that the research done by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FKIK) of UMY and supported by Indonesia Institue for Social Development and MTCC UMY reveals 63% out of 1,018 respondents around Yogyakarta is not a smoker. "It indicates that smoking habit tends to decrease. Smoking behavior can keep decreasing," said he.
In the event attended by Governmental Law Body, Legislative Body, Regency's Health Department all over Yogyakarta, Dasron also says that in fact Indonesians have awareness and understanding about the danger of smoking cigarettes for other people. "Now, it is how the government with the help of all parties improve communication, information, and education to people about the importance of NSA."
According to Dasron, as a matter of fact, UMY has applied NSA concept as an effort in creating clean and healthy academic environment far before Health Regulation No.36 Year 2009 exists. UMY has applied this concept since 2005 in which everybody being in a building with roof is prohibited to smoke.
The involvement of UMY, according to Dasron, is continued with some research by FKIK UMY until the establishment of MMTC UMY this year. “Another effort is the creation of stop-smoking clinic at Asri Medical Center. There was also an effort to make last year's Muhammadiyah Conference free of smoke," said he.
Andung Prihadi Sentosa M.Kes, Assistant Secretary for Economy and Development of Yogyakarta greatly welcomes UMY's efforts as a mandate of the regulation. Yogya government makes NSA to limit active smokers to smoke in public places. This, according to him, not to prohibit smoking, but to protect people and those vulnerable to smoke such as babies, toddlers, pregnant women, and old people. Besides it can reduce new smokers and mortality rate caused by cigarettes.
One way, according to Andung, can be done by optimizing real contribution for regional development, especially in the field of health and human resource improvement. “MMTC is a an example for higher institution in Yogyakarta to support conducive environement for teaching-learning process," he said.
Besides Dasron, some mayors or their representatives also talked about their expereince in applying NSA. They were from Bogor, Palembang, and Padang Panjang (www.umy.ac.id)
(trans by hamzah - uhamka)