Young campaigners collect antitobacco letters for Jokowi

19 July 2016

No smoking – Members of Indonesian Young Reformers take a picture after a press conference on Monday ahead of the 2016 National Children’s Day celebration in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on July 23, which will also welcome the arrival of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Time Capsule. ( Nugraha)

Youth movement Indonesian Young Reformers says it has collected 10,000 letters calling for people to quit smoking from children in areas across the country.

The handwritten letters will be handed over to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during the peak of the National Children’s Day celebration, which will be centered in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on July 23.

“One of the letters will be read out by President Jokowi during the National Children’s Day celebration event in Mataram. The main message of the letters is that Indonesian children want to have a healthy life without cigarettes,” said Syamsul Hadi, a member of the Mataram chapter of Indonesian Young Reformers, during the arrival of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Time Capsule in Mataram on Monday.

Indonesian Young Reformers is a youth group with members from 17 cities across the country that aims to push Indonesia for an immediate accession to the FCTC, an international treaty on the control of the global tobacco epidemic.  

Since it was established in February, the young reformers group has carried out various activities against smoking, coinciding with the organizing of the FCTC Time Capsule expedition in several cities across Indonesia.

“The FCTC Time Capsule symbolizes the commitment of 20 young reformers from 17 cities across Indonesia to carry out actions to support the accession to the treaty,” said Hadi.

Mataram is the eighth city in the FCTC Time Capsule expedition.

The FCTC Time Capsule is set to visit Makassar in South Sulawesi before it arrives in Mataram on July 23 and continues the expedition to Tabanan, Bali, on July 25.

“In Mataram, we have spoken of the dangers of cigarette smoke at10 schools and one orphanage,” Hadi said.  

Azhar Zaini of the West Nusa Tenggara Children Protection Institution said although the city had passed a bylaw on smoke-free zones, Mataram remained an area where many children were subjected to the dangers of cigarette smoke.

“Bylaw No.4/2013 on smoke-free zones has not been put in place effectively – there has been no mayoral regulation, which is needed as the legal basis of implementation.” (ebf)