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Jakarta Post

Killing our children softly – with our tobacco smoke

  • Julia Suryakusuma

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 24 2019   /  01:08 am

Only the good die young. That’s probably what many were thinking when they heard the news of the death of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho at age 49 on July 7. Sutopo was the beloved spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is beset by constant risks of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods. Having to comment, provide public education and allay the public’s fears on about 2,300 disasters a year made this dedicated civil servant an unlikely (social) media celebrity. Then in January 2018, he was struck by his own personal disaster: he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He claimed to have lived a healthy life and he certainly didn’t smoke. But most of his colleagues at the BNPN did: Sutopo was a passive smoker.In a video uploaded after his death, he said: “For the young generation, especially children, nob...