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Makassar City Government Integrates Tobacco Control into COVID-19 Recovery Plan

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At a meeting on 31 March, newly appointed Makassar Mayor Mr Ramadhan Pomanto urged the 1.5 million residents of Eastern Indonesia’s largest city to work together on a COVID-19 recovery program. “There are 11 key elements of the Makassar recovery program,” he explained, noting that his comprehensive plan also includes important tobacco control provisions. “We have now identified three areas for tobacco control integration. Makassar City is committed to protect its people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.”

Coordinated by Union grantee Hasanuddin Contact, the meeting was designed to build political commitment for the city’s tobacco control sustainability. The Union has supported the city’s tobacco control work in policy development and awareness, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and program monitoring. Current support is focused on improving smokefree implementation and bans on tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). It was attended by the Regional Secretary of Makassar who said, “All government officials must set a good example and comply with Smokefree areas. We aim to increase the compliance of Smokefree from 11.8% in 2020 to at least 85% by 2022.”

Mr. Andi Bukti Jufrie, Head of Investment and One Stop Integrated Services Agency said, “Makassar will never issue a permit for tobacco billboards. Tobacco advertising negatively influences our youth and encourages smoking.”

Tara Singh Bam, Director of The Union’s Asia Pacific Office, lauded the city’s commitments to tobacco control. “We welcome the integration of tobacco control into Makassar’s COVID-19 recovery plan. We know that people who smoke have worse COVID-19 outcomes. Integrating these activities will also ensure that tobacco control programs are sustainable for the foreseeable future.”