The letter’s author, “the WHO, tobacco farmers” (Jakarta Post, June 28) includes a lot of false information about the problem, which is misleading in the public. The entry should be set straight with facts.
Indonesia is not a party to the treaty of tobacco, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The Working Group was established in accordance with Articles 17 and 18 of the FCTC, and they consist of a cross-section of tobacco growing countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, the European Union and India,
This working group has not yet called for a ban on tobacco and it is not aimed at forcing the farmers to do. The purpose of the report is to determine how farmers can receive assistance and to consider alternatives to tobacco, because they are already faced with numerous challenges that keep them in poverty, and must in many cases. Public Health is calling for a ban on tobacco growing, too. If the lie is repeated often enough, it has become a dangerous “truth” in the public consciousness.
There are approximately 65 million smokers in Indonesia who smoke 250 billion cigarettes a year. Currently, farmers can not grow enough tobacco to supply 65 million smokers. A large number of tobaccos leaf and thus imported. In addition, imports increased from 34,248 tones (17 per cent of total consumption) in 2000 to 65,685 tones (51 per cent of total consumption) in 2010. At the same time, tobacco production in Indonesia has decreased from 204,329 tons in 2000 to 135,678 in 2010. The increase in cigarette consumption should increase tobacco production, but in fact it is only an increase in tobacco imports.
The number of teenage smokers has increased by 19 percent, 200 percent more than in 1995 (7 percent our politicians need to do something, because more children in the age of 10 start smoking. All saw the image of a young boy online smoking and worrying, when there are no clear measures to protect our children. Education by itself is useless and ineffective, if tobacco advertising and sponsorship of sports and music is not forbidden. It is a pity that our young people can not enjoy music and sports tobacco-free, like the other kids around the world.
Many of the issues raised by the writer and the charges are identical to the myths perpetuated by the tobacco industry. Tobacco in Indonesia, in fact, some protected by the fact that each year 2 percent of the tobacco excise tax revenue goes directly to help the farmers in the form of excise tax distribution of income, which amounts to Rp 1.4 trillion (U.S. $ 149.8 million) a year.