In my recent trip to Yogykarta I meet Luqman who works near the Green host hotel as a becak driver, 42-year male living in Yogyakarta. He Learnt English just from talking to clients and visitors. He moved to yoga when he was 15 to work and have money. He also works with an Australian company in Melbourne which imports Indonesian’s handcrafted materials.
Luqman had he’s first cigarette with his father, who smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day, he started smoking when at 14years old. He enjoyed the ‘relaxing and stress-free effects from smoking but one day he just decided to quit because it was ‘boring’. Five years ago Luqman had decided to quit, “I Didn’t like smoking, I only smoke because my friends smoke, but that is why I stopped”. In the Javanese’s culture It is quite common to start smoking from a young age, It is estimated around one million children smoke under the age of 16. (ABC 2011) “When you are younger, everyone smokes, we will hide in the bathrooms at school and smoke with all our friends.” Luqman has also convinced he’s friends who now have quit smoking for 4years. “I gave him the inspiration, and now they have stopped”. Luqman is quite healthy, with no asthma and felt a lot healthier after he quit smoking.
In Yogyakarta it’s different, the people are open minded.
In Yogyakarta the only places you can’t smoke are shopping malls, healthcare facilities and public transport. (Tobacco control laws 2019), smoking in the streets seems to be no problem. Smoking while driving can cause many accidents because the ash can go into people’s eyes, pYLKI chairman Tulus Abadi said that at least 30,000 motorists die each year due to human error. (The Jakarta Post 2018)
Luqman says”I think at this moment the rules aren’t working, but I hope one day the rules will work” In Australia, there are set rules in place to make sure people are safe. The regulations in Australia work, but here we have a vast population 388,627 people in Yogyakarta alone (UN data 2019) One police must take care of 125 thousand people in one area. “It is not possible for one person to do everything.”
The Jakarta Post 2018, YLKI urges police to ban smoking while driving, viewed on 18 December, <https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/03/08/ylki-urges-police-to-ban-smoking-while-driving.html>
Tobacco control laws 2019, legislation by country Indonesia, viewed on 18 December, <https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/country/indonesia/summary>
UN data 2019, Public data, viewed on 18 December, <https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z5567oe244g0ot_&met_y=population&idim=city_proper:022600&hl=en&dl=en>