Post C : “I smoke because I want to”

Global Studio in Yogyakarta that was held on 1-14 December 2019 was a very fun and educating experience. The studio’s main focus was to future Yogyakarta in 2040. I got to future Malioboro Street for my project, and I focused on the wicked tobacco problem that I encountered during my stay in Central Java. Based on secondary research that I have done before coming to Yogyakarta, I found out that based on research done in 2005, it shows that the percentage of young active smokers in Indonesia is 38% among boys and 5.3% among girls (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). This may happen as tobacco industry in Indonesia is very strong, as it employs more than 11 million workers and is the second-largest employer after the government (Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009). As an Indonesian myself, I am not surprised by the research that I found. Since I was little, I grew up watching countless of people smoking on the streets, from all different classes. In this chance to visit Yogyakarta specifically to tackle this problem, I interviewed a university student that I met at Spedagi factory, named Novaldy who is originally from Temanggung, to understand further about this specific issue. 

Novaldy himself smokes, and has no intention to stop. When I asked him on what might be a reason for him to quit, he answered if his girlfriend tells him to. He also said that nothing really triggered him to smoke, he just feels like he wants to. After I give it some thought, I think that some university students smoke just for fun and out of boredom. I can also say that students in that age, also prioritize and consider that having a partner is important, therefore they listen to their partner in order to keep the relationship going. From this interview, I know for sure that at least tobacco problem in Central Java is not an impossible task to be tackled down in the future. While persuading older people not to smoke seems difficult, taking another step to lecture younger generations about the risk of smoking is more achievable. This also rings a bell on an article that I read the other day, that stated that there are two types of smokers, one is the experimental smoker, and the other one is a regular smoker (Marwati, 2011). This statement also increased my belief that Indonesia in the future will not be the top five tobacco consuming countries in the world (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006).

Image of Novaldy from his Instagram

Reference Lists :

Marwati, 2011, 16 Percent of Junior and Senior High School Students in Yogyakarta City are Smokers, viewed 22 November 2019, <;.

mnovaldy 2019, Tuk Mulyo – ‘Trip anti galau, Nostalgia masa SD, espacism’, 9 November, viewed 16 December 2019, <;.

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Öhman, 2006, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 6, pp 794–804, viewed 22 November 2019, <;.

Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 02, pp 98-107, viewed 21 November 2019, <;.

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