Indonesia is a major grower and exporter of tobacco and is the fifth largest market for tobacco consumption in the world. National survey data reveals that adult smoking prevalence is high, about 62% of men and 1% to 3% of women smoking (Mark N 2009). Not only is smoking ubiquitous among males in Indonesia, but initiation begins early with more than a quarter of 10-year-old boys already smoking. Tobacco-related mortality is estimated to account for 10 percent of all deaths in Indonesia.
When I went to UMY in Yogyakarta, I met Eila, who’s a 20-year-old girl studied at UMY for Government Studies. I asked her a few questions about tobacco issue and she gave me some really interesting perspectives. Before I interviewed her, I’ve already done some research about Indonesia, only few females smoke. Eila didn’t smoke, but she told me that most of her male schoolfellows smoke. Indonesians start smoking at younger ages. Cigarettes are widely available and sold at cheap prices due to the government’s lack of tobacco control, a survey showed three out of five Indonesian students aged between 13 and 15 were exposed to cigarette advertisements and could buy cigarettes easily. Eila said that she hate someone smokes around her, the second hand smoke was harmful.
Some campus are smoke free campus in Yogyakarta, UMY’s included, however, Eila told me that there were still many people smoke in campus, parking lot for example. There were signs everywhere, some students just did’t care. Even though a small number of students want to quit, they think it’s hard to quit. It’s easier for them to keep smoking.
In the end, I asked Eila whether will she allowed her children to smoke in the future or not, she answered me determined that she won’t allow him/her to smoke. And all the other students I interviewed gave the same answer.
Indonesia Government adopted a tobacco control regulation that includes some limitations on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Under the regulation, tobacco companies are banned from sponsoring events that are covered by the media. Online ads require age verification the viewer is above 18, and posted images and content should not encourage smoking.The government has also introduced tobacco control policies corresponding to MPOWER since 2007. Although Indonesia still got a long way to go, they are still trying to control the issue and they need to do more to protect children, since they are not experienced enough to make right choices.
Anhari A.2004, ScienceDirect, The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia, viewed on 20th Dec 2019, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016885100400209X>
Martin L.2018, The Conversation, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, viewed on 20th Dec 2019,<http://theconversation.com/tobacco-company-in-indonesia-skirts-regulation-uses-music-concerts-and-social-media-for-marketing-93206>
Mark N.2009, BMJ JOURNALS, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, viewed on 20th Dec 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98>
Yayi S. 2016, Taylor&Francis Online, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students, viewed on 20th Dec 2019, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3402/gha.v9.30914>