RI will strive to ratify tobacco control convention: Minister

Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi has said the government will strive to ensure that Indonesia ratifies the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as it advances its interest to curb smoking addiction in the country.

“I have written a letter to the President [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] and he said, ‘OK, but, we should first speak with one voice in the government before we continue to proceed with the ratification’. So, I think we will get there, but not yet,” she told The Jakarta Post in an interview at her residence on Jl. Denpasar Raya, Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Saturday.

Indonesia is the only Asian country yet to ratify the FCTC. As of July, 177 countries are parties to the FCTC through either ratification or accession mechanisms, while nine countries have yet to ratify the convention although they have already signed it.

Indonesia is one of eight World Health Organization (WHO) member countries, including Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco (Europe) and Eritrea, Malawi, Somalia and Zimbabwe (Africa) that have yet to both sign and become parties to the convention.

Nafsiah said as part of a global community, Indonesia was very active in formulating the FCTC in 2002-2003.

In 2003, all WHO member states, including Indonesia, approved a World Health Assembly resolution that mandated the establishment of a framework convention on tobacco control.

“So we know that Indonesians actually believe that the FCTC is a good tool for all countries within the WHO family to protect people from negative impacts of smoking,” Nafsiah said.

Data from the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS, 2011) shows the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in Indonesia stood at 34.8 percent, comprising 67.4 percent in men and 4.5 percent in women.

“We really want to see people stop smoking for themselves, not for us, so they will not suffer from cancer, strokes or heart diseases,” said Nafsiah.

Read more: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/09/30/ri-will-strive-ratify-tobacco-control-convention-minister.html