Anti-smoking campaign working well: City
The Jakarta administration announced on Wednesday that a series of gruesome anti-smoking ads on TV and radio had been effective in deterring smoking.
Mara Oloan Siregar, the administration’s assistant for public health, said that the survey found most Jakartan respondents would be deterred from smoking or give up the habit after seeing the commercials.
The survey, which was supported by the World Lung Foundation (WLF) and Bloomberg Philanthropies, revealed that some 89 percent of all respondents said the commercials made them think twice before lighting up.
Eighty-one percent of respondents who smoked also said that they would consider quitting, while 70 percent of smokers said they had decided to give up.
The survey was conducted between October and November last year among a random sample of 1,600 respondents. The surveyors held face-to-face interviews with respondents, aged between 15 and 55.
Mara said that the survey’s results showed that mass media campaigns were a key component in deterring smoking. “Millions are misinformed about the dangers of smoking. This kind of campaign is a move forward,” he said, adding that the administration would continue to strengthen its anti-smoking campaign.
There were two commercials in the series, one with the tagline “Smoking kills you” and the other with “Smoking kills your baby”.
The first ad showed how smoking damages human organs. The second commercial stressed the effects of smoking on children including lung problems, ear infections, chronic asthma and sudden death syndrome.
Sandra Mullin, WLF senior vice president for policy and communications, said that mass-media campaigns could persuade people to stop smoking only if the campaign was intensive. “Ads broadcast intensively can lead to significant changes in habit. The Jakarta administration should continue with more campaigns in the future,” she said in a press statement.
The Jakarta administration has been adamant in upholding smoking bans in buildings and public places.
A 2005 bylaw on air-pollution control prohibits smoking in five types of facilities, namely public transportation, healthcare buildings, schools, children’s areas and places of worship, but allows smoking in designated areas in other buildings and places.
WLF data showed that smoking kills at least 200,000 people in Indonesia each year.
Data from 2008 revealed that one-third of the country’s 237 million people smoked. More than 60 percent of men smoke and the number of adolescents taking up smoking is on the rise. Statistics show tobacco consumption has grown by 26 percent over the last 15 years, placing Indonesia among the world’s three largest tobacco consumers after China and India. Indonesia is among the few countries in the world that have neither signed nor ratified the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
— JP/Andreas D. Arditya