Jakarta (Antara) – Minister of Health Nila Moeloek barred teachers from cigarette smoking in schools, fearing that the act might be followed by students. Nila said that non-smoking teachers might prevent tobacco use among children.
"We again urge the Ministry of Education and Culture to ban teachers on cigarette smoking, they have to be a [good] model for students," Nila said in Jakarta, Thursday, July 11.
According to Nila, a number of regions already had regulations regarding non-smoking areas including in the school environment. She expected regional regulations such as those to be truly implemented, particularly in academic institutions with non-smoking educators.
The prevalence of cigarette smoking in Indonesia tends to be stable over the years at 33.8 percent. However, the number of young smokers aged between 10-18 years significantly increased.
Data from Basic Health research (Riskesdas) 2013, showed the prevalence of smoking among youth was at 7.2 percent, and that rose to 9.1 percent in 2018.
The ministry concluded that the increasing prevalence was the result of a massive number of cigarette advertisements targeting children, such as commercials on social media, Nila added.
"We conducted a study to find out why [the rate increases], one of them is due to advertisements or sponsors that easily visible on social media," the minister explained.
She continued that her ministry had collaborated with the Ministry of Communication and Information in blocking cigarette ads on the internet, and are still continuing the effort.