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Jakarta Post

Children exposed to tobacco advertising at school

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 15, 2015   /  02:12 pm
Children exposed to tobacco advertising at school

Do no harm: In a 2011 file photo, an anti-smoking activist takes part in a rally in Jakarta. Indonesia is the only Asian country that has yet to ratify the World Health Organization'€™s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

More than 30 tobacco brands put advertisements and promote their products in school areas, a survey by NGOs shows.

The survey, which was done in 360 schools in five major cities including Jakarta, Bandung in West Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi, found that tobacco advertisements were found in shops around 85 percent of all the schools observed.

Meanwhile, other means of advertisement, such as billboards, were found near the one out of three schools surveyed.

"We even found in Bandung that a videotron tobacco advertisement was placed right in front of a junior high school," survey team member and researcher from Communication Department of University of Indonesia Hendriyani said during the release of the survey report on Monday.

The survey was jointly conducted from January to March by Lentera Anak Indonesia (LAI), the Children Media Development Foundation (YPMA) and Smoke Free Agents (SFA).

The researcher warned that tobacco advertisements around schools impacted children's tendency to smoke.

"An estimated 70 percent of children start smoking after seeing advertisements and continue to smoke because of the advertisements as well," she said.

Psychologist Liza Marielly Djaprie voiced the same concern.

"The advertisement is a subliminal advertising where the individual is exposed to the brands without being conscious that he or she is being exposed. [...] But the children don't have a mature enough thinking capacity. They're still unstable. Add to it the false perception that smoking is cool," she said.

Based on Global Youth Tobacco Survey data from 2009, 20.3 percent children of school age in Indonesia smoke, a steep increase from 12.6 percent in 2006. (fsu/hhr/dmr)(++++)

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