TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government should implement a segmented communication strategy in the campaign to reduce smoking prevalence by adopting different campaign approach for different social groups, Professor Kholil of Sahid University Jakarta stated.
Kholil said in a statement here on Sunday, he has recognised the government's measures to reduce the number of smokers in Indonesia, currently recorded at 65 million people.
One of the measures is mandating graphic health warnings that must be printed on every cigarette package, he said, adding that the method must be improved and complemented with a comprehensive communication strategy.
"From the communication perspective, we should improve our campaign since we employed the same (graphic health warning) pictures for all social groups, from primary school pupils until post-graduate students," Kholil who concurrently Rector of the Sahid University stated.
Studies showed that graphic health warning using terrifying pictures was ineffective to reduce the number of smokers, he elaborated.
Kholil suggested the government to employ public figures and health workers to disseminate information on the health risk of tobacco to different audiences through various media.
"Different approaches must be used for different audiences and different communicators and message delivery strategies must be planned. We should also ensure that the communication process is reflective with objective situations faced by the audience," he said.
In addition, he recommended the government to promote tobacco-alternative products consumption, as independent assessments concluded that the alternative products have lower health risks than tobacco.
"The public must be properly informed regarding alternative products that pose lower health risk than tobacco. This must be done by presenting empirical evidence," Kholil said.