Ministry Blocks Online Cigarette Advertising

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara. TEMPO/Francisca Christy Rosana

    Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara. TEMPO/Francisca Christy Rosana

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara, said that he had received a letter on restricting cigarette advertising on the internet, which was delivered by the Health Ministry.

    "I have read the letter. Thank you for sending it. The Ministry immediately initiate crawling [against cigarette ads]," Rudiantara said on Thursday, June 13, 2019.

    Based on the Communication and Informatics Ministry, Rudiantara mentioned that the Ministry has discovered 114 canals in social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube that clearly violates Article 46 (3) point c of Law No. 36 of 2009. The Article contains provisions on the promotion of cigarettes by displaying images of cigarettes.

    Rudiantara said that the Ministry is currently in the process of taking down accounts or contents violating the abovementioned law. "The take down process time depends. Based on the prevailing laws, if [the content has been found], it’s quick. Can be finished in one or two days," Rudiantara stated.

    Secretary General of the Health Ministry Oscar Primadi, said that the letter that was sent by the Health Ministry was based on concerns to maintain the health of the public. In the letter, the Health Ministry hoped that Minister Rudiantara would be willing to block cigarette advertising in the internet to reduce smoking prevalence, especially on kids and teenagers.

    "We thank you for your positive contribution in supporting the improvement of public health in Indonesia," the letter stated.

    The letter mentioned that online cigarette ads were often found on social media platform such as YouTube, numerous websites, and online games.

    Daily Chief of the Indonesian Consumers Association (YLKI) Tulus Abadi, said that cigarette advertising on the internet need to be blocked to protect kids and teenagers from exposure to cigarettes.

    "The presence of cigarette advertising on the internet is concerning because it can be viewed by anyone, at anytime without time constrains," he said.

    ANTARA