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Bogor city, Indonesia asks citizens to “Show Your True Colors” to see tobacco’s harms

(May 31st, 2017, Bogor, Indonesia and New York, USA) – Vital Strategies congratulates the Mayor and the Head of the Department of Health of Bogor city on the launch of an innovative campaign to warn citizens about the dangers of tobacco and promote the city’s smokefree laws.

Sixteen angkots – the main means of public transportation in the city –  have been decorated with specially designed stickers to illustrate the harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, and raise awareness of the city’s No Smoking Zones in order to increase compliance. In addition, a tobacco control wall mural festival in the city further encourages citizens to “Show Your True Colors” and choose health. Vital Strategies and the No Tobacco Community (NoTC) provided assistance to Bogor city’s government for this campaign, which is being promoted via the #SuaraTanpaRokok social media campaign and microsite at, and coincided with this year’s World No Tobacco Day.

The Mayor of Bogor, Dr. Bima Arya Sugiarto, who led the procession of angkots through the city, commented: “Bogor was the first city in Indonesia to implement a smoking ban in public places, and it has been a real success. An increasing number of venues and two-thirds of people within the city now comply with the laws. Synergy and strong commitment from all stakeholders – ranging from government to private and public sector individuals, groups and organizations, and campaigns to raise awareness of the real harms of tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke have been key to our success. This new campaign will remind citizens to not smoke when using public transport and at other times. We want people to understand that everyone has the right to a healthier and more dignified life, so 100 percent smokefree public places become the norm. A healthier, smoke-free city is better for our people and our economy.”

Rubaeah Rubaeah, MD, MPH, the Head of the Department of Health, Bogor City, said: “World No Tobacco Day is an appropriate time to launch a new campaign to remind people to comply with Bogor’s smokefree laws and encourage them to stop smoking, in order to protect current and future generations. We know there is popular support for this policy; a survey conducted in mid-2009 found that nine out of 10 people in Bogor agree with the no-smoking zones – we just need to turn that support into increased compliance. This year the Health Department, in collaboration with civil society organizations such as NoTC and Vital Strategies, chose “Show Your True Colors” as the theme for 2017’s World No Tobacco Day commemoration. We believe that the attention-grabbing angkots and murals will be particularly effective in generating thought and discussion among Bogor’s young people.”

José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vital Strategies, concluded: “Bogor is a young, vibrant, creative city that’s also a popular tourist attraction. We congratulate the city’s authorities on implementing an innovative, compelling and colorful campaign that will attract attention and stimulate discussion. The online treasure hunt to spot all 16 angkot, each of which carries a different message, will help to create an additional buzz, further increasing awareness. We commend the Mayor on his personal commitment to tobacco control and improving the health and the lives of all residents and visitors to Bogor. Since 2009, the city has piloted tobacco control initiatives that show that people want no smoking zones so they can breathe clean air, and prove that city governments don’t need revenues from tobacco industry advertising, which directly conflicts with the need to improve health. Bogor is an example for other cities in Indonesia to follow.”

Bogor passed the Local Government Regulation No. 12 on No Smoking Areas in 2009. The No Smoking Zone policy applies to eight (8) locations: public spaces, working areas, religious places (mosques, churches, etc), children’s playgrounds, public transportation, schools, health facilities, and sport facilities. The law protects the health of the city’s residents and the many tourists who come to Bogor to see attractions like the Botanic Gardens – the third oldest botanic garden in the world. A total of 2055 places in the city were compliant with the law in 2016, compared with 1989 in 2015. Among Bogor’s population, surveys indicate that 67 percent of the population complied with the smoking ban in 2016. On-the-spot fines for violations of the No Smoking Zone have generated a total of Rp 214 million between 2010 and 2016. The city also has increased the number of smoking cessation clinics in Community Health Centers (PUSKESMAS) across the city, to help smokers who want to quit.

At today’s launch event, the Mayor also noted that the city has been able to increase its income after banning the placement of outdoor cigarette advertising within the city, under the Mayor’s Regulation No. 1. In 2010 with 77 cigarette billboards, Bogor’s income was Rp 125 billion. In 2013, after the ban came into effect, Bogor’s income reached Rp 464 billion. By 2016, with the ban still in effect, Bogor’s income reached Rp 728 billion. This income is generated from restaurant taxes, local government enterprises, and other sources. Bogor’s example has broken the commonly-held perception across Indonesia that banning outdoor cigarette advertisement would negatively impact local government finances. Other cities across Indonesia are now looking at Bogor’s example to consider the introduction of similar laws.

Notes to Editors

Tobacco’s deadly cost to Indonesia

According to The Tobacco Atlas, more than 2,677,000 children and 53,767,000 adults use tobacco in Indonesia (57.1 percent of men, 3.6 percent of women, 41 percent of boys and 3.5 percent of girls). The proportion of men, boys and girls who use tobacco is higher in Indonesia than in other middle income countries. Tobacco kills 217,400 Indonesians every year and in 2010, it was the cause of 19.8 percent of deaths among adult men and 8.1 percent of deaths among adult women – higher than the average in other middle income countries. Studies indicate that Indonesian males are initiating tobacco use at younger and younger ages – many as early as twelve years old. Tobacco use is the leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, which could cost Indonesia’s economy as much as US$4.5 trillion from 2012 to 2030, according to the World Economic Forum.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that seeks to accelerate progress on the world’s most pressing health problems. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health and tobacco control expert, please contact Tracey Johnston, Vital Strategies, at +44.7889.081.170 or