The Jakarta Post
National Commission on Tobacco Control education and community empowerment division head Fuad Baradja said young people in Indonesia remained vulnerable to cigarette marketing activities, as tobacco companies frequently sponsored youth sporting events to advertise products, and added that the impact of smoking ran in complete opposition to the purpose of sporting activities.
He said Indonesia was one of the countries with the slowest progress in terms of prohibiting the advertisements, promotions, sponsorship and corporate social responsibility activities of cigarette companies that aimed to bolster their public image, with the youth as their main target.
Government Regulation (PP) No.109/2012 on tobacco control, which still allows cigarette advertisements, promotions and sponsorship via all types of media in Indonesia, had made children targets of exploitation of cigarette companies' marketing activities.
'Children have become a marketing target of the cigarette industry because they are potential consumers that will probably remain tobacco-addicts for life, preserving the existence of the industry,' said Fuad on the sidelines of the Handball Bogor Open in Bogor, West Java, on Saturday.
'One of most effective strategies getting young people addicted to tobacco is through advertising, promotions and sponsorship at events like sporting events,' he went on.
The 2013 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) data shows that more than 60 percent of smokers started their habits when they were still under 20. Meanwhile, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey data revealed a rapid increase in the prevalence of young smokers aged between 13 and 15-years-old from 12.6 percent in 2006 to 20.3 percent in 2009.
Heri Isnaeni, head of the 2014 Handball Open Bogor organizing committee, said sporting event attendees were mostly young people who were vulnerable to cigarette advertising exposure.
'That's why we picked 'A cool handball, a handball without a cigarette' as the theme of this year's Handball Open. This aims to encourage young people to achieve at sporting events without cigarette smoking,' he said. (ebf)(++++)
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