Story from Indonesia: the media advocacy strategy on restraining ´The Tobacco Bill Draft´
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National Commission for Tobacco Control Indonesia, Indonesia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A55
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Strong tobacco industry interference continued to influence the implementation of adequate tobacco control policy in Indonesia. Labours and farmers issues were overly used to mislead public and to challenge tobacco control policies. In 2009, Indonesia passed its Health Law. One of its translation is The Government Law on Tobacco Control, issued in 2012. This law is Indonesia's most comprehensive tobacco control regulation up-to-this date. Following that event, still in 2012, the People's Parliaments (DPR) initiated The Tobacco Bill Draft, which was loaded with tobacco industry's interest, solely aim to increase cigarette production. Since then, civil societies have been fighting to restrain DPR from passing the bill.

Intervention or response:
The National Commission for Tobacco Control (NCTC) Indonesia continuously built strong and proactive communication strategies through media advocacy and open access to information. The efforts challenged manipulating facts and black campaigns that aim to mislead public opinion for industry's favour. NCTC closely monitored progress and setback about bill and informed media through press conferences, briefings, and fact sheets production. As a result, media coverage that support tobacco control increased significantly. In-depth investigative articles produced by national media emerged. Public messages about tobacco control shifted into positive tone.

Results and lessons learnt:
In early 2017, The Tobacco Bill Draft was listed again by DPR as The Priority List for National Legislation (Prolegnas). In respond to this critical situation, NCTC Indonesia generated rigorous media advocacy efforts which resulted in 66 news articles and collected more than 25,000 online petition within two months (January to March 2017). In three consecutive days, three in-depth stories against The Tobacco Bill Draft were published at the front page of Indonesian newspaper largest chain.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
This efforts contributed to the bill's expulsion from Prolegnas by the executive government in March 2017. This shows that effective and robust media campaign could shift political decision towards tobacco control.

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