PROJECT: Group Sirsat: Bebas Bernapas

Bebas Bernapas: Breathe freely.

This phrase encapsulates everyone’s right to preserve their health, without the hindrance of toxic cigarette fumes.

Unfortunately, in a country like Indonesia with 61.4 million tobacco users, avoiding the detrimental effects of second hand smoke seems almost impossible (WHO 2018).

72% of households are exposed to second-hand smoke (Padmawatil et al 2018, p. 2). More than 267, 000 children are estimated to use Tobacco products every day (Tobacco Atlas, 2018). Children are influenced from an early age, through household smoking, advertising and social norms. The amount of women who smoke is significantly less than men- around 1 in 3, and out of these, 77% weren’t comfortable to approach the males in the house and discourage them from smoking. (Prabandari & Dewi 2018, p. 2). (Padmawatil et al 2018, p. 3)

At first, these statistics inspired us to infiltrate Ambonese home life with a campaign to reduce second-hand smoking, to reduce child exposure, and focus on empowering women to take control of their spaces. However, due to the complex nuances that exist between different families, we decided that this wasn’t a feasible strategy. Instead, we examined other spaces that women inhabit. The most stimulating was the Indonesian Christian University of Maluku.

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(Teersa- student of the University, and Ady. Maneze 2019)

Here, through interviews with a range of students, teachers, male, female, smokers and non-smokers, a demand became clear to us:

Spaces for non-smokers where their right to fresh, clean air was respected and where their requests for smokers to move or stop could not be ignored.

Our purpose:

Forming a community of non-smokers, and connecting them to smoke-free spaces.

The initial direction was to reclaim physical university spaces for non-smokers, but realised we needed to think much bigger, and focus on the whole of Ambon, the city, the community, and the culture, as a space.

What we conceptualised was a website-based platform, featuring a map and a database that not only identifies smoke-free venues in Ambon- it also supplies a rating system with twelve categories to provide a comprehensive review of the smoking culture in and around the venue.

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The applicable criteria are clearly displayed alongside an interactive map which showcases the location and rating of each listed venue.

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The criteria were created with the knowledge that although there may be no active tobacco consumption within an enclosed space, other influences such as advertising, people smoking outside or in close vicinity to the venue and sale of tobacco products may still be present, risking health through second-hand smoke or exposing children to tobacco culture.

Thus if a venue is able to fulfil 50% of the criteria, it is deemed ‘free to breathe’ with our stickers of approval, designed to complement the visuals of the globally recognised ‘no smoking’ sign to reduce ambiguity and contextualise the ‘breathe freely’ concept.

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These stickers will be displayed outside the venues once examined by a Bebas Bernapas representative to certify the space as ‘free to breathe’.


(Arif outside his ‘Bebas Bernapas’ certified restaurant, Pangsit Mie. Maneze 2019)

Members of the movement passing by will be able to instantly identify a non-smoker friendly space. Through this process, we hope to build confidence to reclaim clean, smoke-free spaces, through solidarity within the non-smoking community of Ambon.

Future Direction:

Since we are a group of designers and not software engineers, we would like this project to be taken on board by those with the technical skills to push this concept further- for example, creating a weighted rating system, placing more value on categories that are more significant than others. Other expansion possibilities include:


Using #BebasBernapas to share potential venues, and locate other users’ listings, and to follow the @BebasBernapas account for small bios about each venue. Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 9.26.18 PM.png

Smartphone App: 

To streamline the website for on-the-go searches for venues.Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 9.26.06 PM.png


Reclaiming transport spaces for non-smoking passengers through banning the use and storage of tobacco products, and using the local transport as a vehicle to communicate anti-smoking messages.

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(Smoke-free angkot, Maneze 2019)

There is also a possibility of expanding the idea across the whole of Indonesia…

And the possibility to ensure that everybody in Ambon and elsewhere can exercise their right to breathe freely.

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