The Indonesian Heart Foundation successfully implemented the “Sekolah Tanpa Advertising Rokok” (School with No Cigarette Advertisement) – STAR initiative from October 2022 to February 2023 in five cities across Indonesia, with the support of the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and the World Heart Federation through the World Heart Grants programme.
The initiative aimed to educate junior high school students about the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco advertising around schools. More than 600 students and local government representatives participated in the programme’s online and offline activities, which positively impacted students, schools, and local governments. Several challenges were faced along the way, including resistance from shop owners to take down cigarette advertising banners, as well as difficulties in persuading children to quit smoking. Additionally, some areas lacked regulations on non-smoking spaces, making it challenging to reduce cigarette advertisements around schools.
Of the five cities visited during the programme, Bogor had the highest rate of child smokers and the most cigarette banner violations.
Palembang saw no resistance from the stalls to replace cigarette advertisements with banners prohibiting the sale of cigarettes around schools, and the local government was supportive of the initiative.
The city of Solo did not have a cigarette advertising ban regulation, making the activities more challenging.
Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, served as a model for many other cities as it had a Governor’s Regulation on the Prohibition of Cigarette Advertising, both outdoors and indoors.
Two webinars were held as part of the STAR programme. The first webinar covered topics such as government control of youth smoking and schools as smoke-free areas. In contrast, the second webinar was attended by representatives from child protection organizations and featured students sharing their impressions of the programme.
The project also included a Cool Smokeless Dance Competition on TikTok to encourage young people to exercise and promote a smoke-free lifestyle through dancing.
The success of the STAR programme can now be used as a reference for local governments to implement regulations prohibiting cigarette advertisements, especially around schools.