New tobacco advertising laws underway for Jakarta

The Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) is planning to pass yet another law on tobacco advertising, read an earlier report by The Jakarta Post.

Under the law, stores that sell cigarettes can no longer display them openly. The act of showing the name or logo of any brand of cigarettes will be prohibited. Once it takes effect, stores will sell cigarettes by only displaying a sign with a message, which reads “cigarettes are available here,” reported Tribune news.

Simultaneously, the Jakarta Legislative Council is looking to pass a law to implement and create no smoking zones across the city.

The council has reportedly handed the draft bylaw to the city administration in a plenary meeting on March 11 attended by Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok.

The law aims to prohibit people from smoking and prevent the up-take of smoking to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure. This move is the latest measure taken by the Jakarta administration, after a series of regulations on tobacco control imposed in the city over the past few years, to curb cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke.

The law also targets to free Jakarta from outdoor and indoor cigarette ads before the end of this year. This despite the sharp criticisms from tobacco manufactures over the tougher restrictions on outdoor and indoor cigarette advertising.

Cigarette advertising laws tightened in Jakarta last year following the signing of the Gubernatorial Decree (Pergub) No.244/2015 on advertising guidelines that prohibits indoor cigarette advertising. The city has already been banning outdoor cigarette and tobacco product advertising since mid-January 2015 that saw the removal of all cigarette billboards from roadsides in areas across the city.

Earlier in 2012, the government issued tighter tobacco controls that put more limitations on cigarette advertising in all media. It only allowed cigarette commercial up to 72sqm in size and restricted the broadcasting of smoking ads on television to between 9.30 pm and 5 am. This came after former governor Fauzi Bowo imposed a bylaw banning smoking from all government buildings in 2010, where smoking in public buildings is prohibited.

In response to a potential drop on the city’s tax revenue amid the slowdown in economic activities- Balegda, which is the City Council'€™s Legislation Body, revealed that Jakarta has generated revenue from taxes on cigarette ads totaling around Rp 14 billion per year. This is much lesser than the amount spent on medical treatments for cigarette-related health problems.

According to the 2011 Global Adults Tobacco Survey, the prevalence of smoking among adults in Indonesia stands at 34.8% , including 40%  of 13- to 15-year-old adolescents.