Australian News Program Highlights Alarming Epidemic Affecting Indonesia’s Children

June 21, 2012

A new segment broadcast by Australian Broadcasting Corporation highlights the alarming tobacco epidemic affecting Indonesia's most vulnerable population — its children. The story follows an eight year old boy who has been smoking cigarettes for nearly four years and illustrates how the tobacco industry targets young smokers in Indonesia.

Matt Myers of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids warns in the segment that while the young boy's story is shocking, youth smoking is common in Indonesia, where more than 60 percent of men smoke and more than 80 percent of smokers tried their first cigarette as children.

The Indonesian government needs to enact tobacco control measures, such as a comprehensive advertising ban, which are proven to reduce tobacco consumption. These tobacco control policies would help to reduce tobacco's deadly toll in Indonesia, where each year more than 200,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases. Indonesia remains the only country in Southeast Asia which has yet to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which mandates sound tobacco control policies and helps to reduce the impact of tobacco around the globe.

Watch ABC's broadcast or read a transcript of the story.

Watch ABC