Stricter Anti-smoking Ban is Needed in Indonesia

Published on May 28th, 2010 00:00
Indonesian Smoker

Minor Smokers Raised in Indonesia

Almost all teenagers and minors became smoking addicted. For example, Ardi Rizal 2 years old cried when his father refuse to give him a cigarette. Of course his father is guilty because he gave to his son first cig when he was just 18 months old. The smoking child was investigated and interviewed by a reporter who visited the home of this kid in the fishing village of Musi Banyuasin, situated in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province.

”I’m not bothered about his health, he looks to be healthy. He cries and throws nervous when his relatives don’t let him smoke because he become addicted,” reported declared.

Statistics show that 25 percent of Indonesian children aged 3 to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 percent of those who become addicted and every day smoker. The percentage of 5- to 9-year-olds lighting up rose from 0.4 percent in 2001 to 2.8 percent in 2004, according to statistics data.

Even a video of a 4-year-old Indonesian boy making smoke rings appeared on YouTube in March this year. Child supporters are speaking out about the health harmful to children from secondhand smoke, and the increasing push on them to try a cigarette in a state where approximately one-third of the population use tax free cigarettes which can be bought for a few cents.

Seto Mulyadi, president of Indonesia’s child protection commission, censures the increase on intensive advertising and parents who are also smokers.

“A regulation to protect kids and non-smokers should be approved at once in this country,” he explained.

For example a health legislation passed in 2009 officially recognized that cigarette smoking is very addictive, and an anti-smoking alliance is urging for stricter restrictions on smoking especially in all public places, advertising bans and much bigger health warnings on cigarette packs.

But unfortunately a law on tobacco control has been delayed because of resistance from the tobacco industries. They didn’t accept the new anti-smoking legislation because it could prohibit cigarette advertising and sponsorship, prohibit smoking in public, and add graphic images to packaging.