Smoking is the leading cause for preventable diseases and staggering mortality rates worldwide (Manuel C. Pietsche et.al, 2018) while many countries are attempting to reduce the mortality rate, Indonesia is one of the few countries that has the highest number of smokers globally. With a population of around 260 million at least 214,000 people die each year, 19% of which are males and 7% are females (tobaccofreekids.org, 2017)
Looking at how some organisations are trying to combat these issues in other countries the question is: are these initiatives proving successful? According to G.T Fong “It is not possible to conduct randomised experimental studies to evaluate the effects of tobacco control policies because governments, not researchers, control policy implementation”. A well known example in Australia is the cigarette packaging featuring graphic images of what may result from prolonged tobacco use which came into place thanks to the Department of Health by December 2012. However a recent study released by The Cancer Council of Victoria found that plain packaging in Australia has failed. “Smoking rates in Australia have increased by 21,000 smokers from 2013 (one year after the new cigarette packaging was implemented) to 2016. This is marked the first time in decades that there hasn’t been a reduction in smoking rates.”(Sarah Ray, 2018)
Probing into recent initiatives, tobaccofreekids.org based in the U.S aims to prevent young adults from early addiction to tobacco, cigarette smoking usually begins at an early age especially in lower economic countries and regions (Saadiyah Rao, 2014). One of many of their initiatives is ‘Kick Butts Day’ dedicated to encourage youths to “stand out, speak up and seize control” (tobaccofreekids.org). KBD now organises events globally and hopes to reach more countries, the campaign aims to achieve a smoke-free future with the following:
fig.1 KBD logo
- Promote policies reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws enforced in public spaces, funded tobacco prevention programs.
- Expose and counter tobacco industry efforts to market to children and mislead the public.
- Uniting organisations to join the fight against tobacco.
- Empower a tobacco-free generation by fostering youth leadership and activism.
- Inform the public, policy makers and the media about tobacco’s devastating consequences and the effectiveness of the policies we support.
KBD offers wide a range of activities aimed at students from elementary school to college, extensive support and resources that would have a prolonged effect for children and young adults in the future. Rather than aiming their campaigns at adult smokers they are educating students before they feel the pressure of having to smoke.
The conceptual framework of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project
G.T Fong, K.M Cummings, R Borland, G Hastings, A Hyland, G.A Giovino, D Hammond, M.E Thompson
Next-generation tobacco and nicotine products: Substantiating harm reduction and supporting tobacco regulatory science
Manuel C Peitsch, Riccardo Polosa, Christopher Proctor, Thord Hassler, Marianna Gaca, Erin Hill, Julia Hoeng, and
A Wallace Hayes
Anti-smoking initiatives and current smoking among 19,643 adolescents in South Asia: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey
Saadiyah Rao, Syeda Kanwal Aslam, Sidra Zaheer and Kashif Shafique
The Department of Health, Tobacco: Health Warnings, April 2018
The Toll of Tobacco In Indonesia
Plain Packaging a graphic study in Failure, Spectator Australia, Sarah Ray, July 2018
Kick Butts Day, For Youth Advocates
fig 1. Kick Butts Day Logo, Illustrator Unknown