Authors: Anhari Achadi, Widyastuti Soerojo, and Sarah Barber
Using published data about consumption, economic aspects, and legislation, this paper analyzes tobacco control in Indonesia, a major consumer and producer of tobacco products. Given its large population and smoking prevalence, Indonesia ranks fifth among countries with the highest tobacco consumption globally. Over 62% of Indonesian adult males smoke regularly, contributing to a growing burden of non-communicable diseases and enormous demands on the health care system. Tobacco control policies, however, have remained low on the political and public health agenda for many years. One reason was the contribution of tobacco to government revenues and employment, particularly in the industrial sector. But tobacco’s importance in employment has fallen significantly since the 1970s from 38% of total manufacturing employment compared with 5.6% today. Widespread use of tobacco since the 1970s and the concomitant burden of non-communicable diseases have given rise to a more balanced view of the costs and benefits of tobacco production over the last decade. The first tobacco control regulation passed in 1999, succeeded by amendments in 2000 and 2003. Today, few restrictions exist on tobacco industry conduct, advertising, and promotion in Indonesia. We examine the relevance and prospects of advancing in Indonesia four cost-effective tobacco control strategies: price and tax measures, advertising bans, clean air legislation, and public education. We conclude with several suggestions for action for the public health community.
Read more: Health Policy, Elsevier