Tobacco Industry Criticizes Smoking Ban Issued by Anies Baswedan



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A representative from Association of Retail and Tobacco Products Industry (IHT) asked Jakarta Governor, Anies Baswedan, to drop Jakarta Governor's Appeal number 8/2021 on the development of no-smoking area. The protest against the smoking ban was conveyed virtually in an online discussion held by Indonesian Tobacco Society Alliance (AMTI) on Friday, Sept. 17.

    "IHT can get worse from upstream to downstream [of the industry]. Everything is affected by the pandemic, starting from the increased tax and now worsened by the Governor' Appeal," said Benny Wahyudi, head of the association of Indonesian white cigarette manufacturers (Gaprindo), in a written statement on Saturday, September 18.

    The issuance signed on June 9, 2021, calls for all building management in the capital city to impose the no-smoking area development. One of them is by not setting up advertisements for cigarettes or addictive substances, both indoors and outdoors. This includes displaying cigarette packs or addictive substances at stores.

    Benny said that those appeals against the government regulation number 109/2012 that regulates smoking activity and ads installation at stores. Advisory Board of the Indonesian Shopping Centers Tenants Association (Hippindo), Tutum Rahanta, said that the governor did it in the wrong time. 

    The economy is in the middle of recovery process. Tutum viewed that the issuance instead disrupted the people's economic activities. Hippindo conveyed their objections.

    Cigarette trading, he went on, is a legal activity that is regulated by law. He questioned why the Governor's Appeal made it seem as if displaying cigarette packaging was wrong.

    Tutum regretted a follow up action by Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) toward Anies Baswedan's appeal by covering cigarette display at minimarkets with white cloth. “We do trading activities properly. Please support [us]. If anything goes wrong, a dissemination could be done first [before imposing a new regulation]," he said. 

    Read: Indonesia Mulls Raising Cigarette Tax to Curb Smoking among Children

    Adam Prireza