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‘Suara Hati Anak’ Anti-Smoking Campagin Aims to Increase Public Awareness of Tobacco- Caused Diseases

Jakarta. Indonesia’s health ministry and Vital Strategies, an international organization focusing on research activities on priority public health issues, launched a campaign called “Suara Hati Anak” (Voices of Children), to increase public awareness of the impacts of smoking.

In a statement to the Jakarta Globe recently, Vital Strategies said the campaign involves placing advertisement in national media from May 27 until June 10 this year, uploading campaign videos on YouTube, promoting the hashtag #SuaraTanpaRokok on social media and updating the website

This is the fourth collaboration between Indonesia’s health ministry and the organization.

“Tobacco consumption creates public health problems that will require priority assistance. Cigarettes contribute as one of the main causes of deaths in Indonesia. We can prevent this by encouraging the younger generation to give up smoking,” Health Minister Nila Moeloek said in a statement from Vital Strategies.

Vital Strategies is an affiliate of The Union, an international nonprofit scientific organization based in the United States that helps low-and-middle income nations fight tuberculosis, HIV, asthma and other lung diseases through technical assistance, education and research.

According to Vital Strategies President and Chief Executive Officer José Luis Castro, “the poorest families in Indonesia spend nearly 12 percent of their income on cigarettes. As shown in the campaign, their welfare and the kids’ future prospects will be affected if the breadwinner falls sick from smoking.”

Castro cited a report from the World Economic Forum which showed smoking is one of the main factors of non-contagious diseases that could drain $4.5 trillion from the Indonesian economy from 2012 until 2030.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Tobacco Atlas showed more than 217,400 people die every year in Indonesia from smoking-related diseases.

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