POST D: Smoking culture’s cost in Magelang.

To begin with, there are more than 2,677,000 children and 53,767,000 adults tobacco users in Indonesia. 57.1 percent of men, 3.6 percent of women, 41 percent of bots and 3.5 percent of girls to be exact. (2017)

Tuksongo village which locates in Magelang, Central Java, contains the biggest tobacco field. The process of growing and drying tobacco requires laborers from the village, and it forms a production chain. (2018) The success once made of tobacco business continues to encourage the production. Moreover, the smoking culture had form itself by the effect of tobacco business, and it has been there for generations.

The fact that the profit of the business supports the residents’ income makes it more difficult to separate the smoking culture from Magelang. Most boys in Magelang start to smoke cigarettes at a very young age. As they first start smoking, most of their money were spent on cigarettes, and the need to smoke starts to grow a few years after. (2018) Young boys do not fully aware of the damage that cigarettes can do to their health, and they are too young and not fully-educated to realize the consequence. The value of what cigarettes represents, adulthood and masculinity, pass through generations. Therefore, it made tobacco control campaigns much more difficult to practice. (reference) It is hard to address the deadly cost of tobaccos when the business has been running for decades as well as the harmful legacy.

Moreover, Authorities are reluctant to put regulations into practice because they would face lots of dilemma and awkward situations. What they are facing are not only the smoking teenagers but a tradition that is powerful and stubborn. Therefore, instead of solve the real problem, they rather focus their energy onto putting up campaigns and advertisings that are against smoking.

Nevertheless, a group meeting of tobacco farmers are being held in Magelang on 19 November 2019. These who are involved are the famers who change their path away from tobacco industry, as they realize how much damages had smoking cost on teenagers and children. The goal is to urge the government to practice policies that would help with the situation and change people’s life in Indonesia. (2019) The current environment is that those who have low-income are spending more than they should on tobacco, and the fact that Magelang produces tobacco makes the children and teenagers have access to low-price, fresh-handed cigarettes.

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