On 8 April, Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia’s largest, most influential civil society organisations, organised a high-level meeting to consolidate tobacco control efforts and support government’s strategies to curb tobacco use. Participants emphasized that tobacco use is detrimental to health and Indonesia’s development.
“Tobacco control has our full support,” said Prof. Dr. Haedar Nashir, Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Central Board. “Our mission is to save our children and future generations from destructive habits like smoking. But we need to maximise our efforts by mobilising our networks, institutions and communities.”
Reducing the youth smoking prevalence from its current rate of 9.1% to 8.7% by 2024 is a key indicator in Indonesia’s National Mid Term Development Plan 2020-2024 (RPJMN).
“In order to achieve the RPJMN targets, Indonesia should adopt comprehensive tobacco control policies at the national level,” said Professor. Dr. Muhadjir Effendi, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture. “We are currently revising PP109/2012 with important amendments—including larger pictorial health warnings and a comprehensive ban of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. We should also protect children by banning tobacco advertising on the internet and prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to children and pregnant women.”
“If the government and the community work together, we can significantly improve life for all Indonesians,” said Dr. Mukhaer Pakkana from the Economic Council of Muhammadiyah Central. “We need to revise PP109/2012, and Muhammadiyah is ready to help with content revision.”
Tara Singh Bam, Director, The Union Asia Pacific said, “Working hand in hand with the Indonesian government and the non-government sector, The Union recognizes Muhammadiyah’s significant role in providing health solutions. Its tobacco control leadership—through its network and resource centres—plays an important role in strengthening policy and programs at the national and subnational levels. Its leadership is urgently needed to build public awareness and prevent smoking initiation through larger pictorial health warnings on 90% on tobacco packaging, a total ban of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and raised tax and prices on tobacco products.”
The event was covered in prominent national media. Read more here.