Bone-Bone is a tiny village in South Sulawesi in Indonesia, and it’s pretty likely that you’ve never heard of it. However, this nondescript village has put itself on the map by making world headlines for being the first place in the country to put a complete smoking ban on its residents.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), as much as 56 percent of the adult male population are current tobacco smokers. That’s more than twice the number of adult men in Great Britain at 22 per cent, and is one of the highest in the world overall. While a significantly small percentage of women in Indonesia smoke, it’s still a dangerously high level.
This is why the village’s decision to completely ban smoking is such a promising and inspiring one. It has been reported that other villages around the country have followed suit by creating their own rules.
The Indonesian government has fallen far behind the rest of the world in terms of tobacco and smoking laws, which is why townships have taken matters into their own hands. For example, it’s not at all uncommon to see cigarette advertising on television or on billboards in public places.
According to news outlet AFP, Bone-Bone didn’t make this decision to save lives, however, but to save money. Heavy smokers were spending so much on cigarettes that it made it difficult for them to afford more necessary costs – even simple ones such as education.
Both visitors and villagers are banned from smoking, and anyone caught with a cigarette can face punishments such as a public apology or cleaning up for community service.
With such strict rules, the ban has had a hugely successful quit rate, giving many other areas reason to follow suit.