After seeing 101 East--a programme of Al Jazeera-- which gives a introductory perspective of asian countries, this time, about tobacco in Indonesia, I felt....much like....embarrased. I do feel so because what they showed me --also their international viewers--in the programme, that Indonesians are so addicted to tobacco.
There was one side that they picture a young mother being sick--lung cancer-- for their men in the family smoke. They portrayed the ironi that she got the cancer although she breathed second-hand-smoke(smoke that smokers release). She doesnt smoke, but eventually she died to it. She cant hold her newborn child anymore. And yet their family cant let their hand off their cigarettes, only this time, less than their usual consumption. Even some of the relatives didnt believe that tobacco can cause death, at least sickness. They even tell that being cough a lot is not sick, since for them being sick means you can only rest in your bed doing hardly anything. They were saying it in plain face.
IN the other hand, in the tobacco farmers side, a man has been smoking for 30 years, and he is smoking less since he felt harder to breathe. His wife even says that smoking is OK and it wont give any sickness to them. She even let her teenage child smoke since she things it is not masculine for men who doesnt smoke. She said it in the same plain face of farmers in villages.
They also portrayed about when MUI decided to lay fatwa 'haram' to cigarrettes(which means they ban moslems to smoke), farmers rally to refuse the fatwa. The head rally was a moslem as well, pointing out that they will give their life to stand against that fatwa. They dont care who they are facing, since what matters the most for them is that people can keep smoking so the tobacco farmers dont have to lose their job, or even switch their plantation. Some even caught by camera bringing a figure which implies "Cigarettes are not poison".. Even the reporter said, "For them, welfare is more important than theology".
They even portrayed that the brave ex health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, cannot say anything after being asked about cigarette issue by saying that she is not ready for such question and leaving the question to her staff in excuse to an occasion she was too late to attend.
Their portrays stubs me. They were portraying the embarrasing side of Indonesia in terms of this Cigarette issue.They were concluding that the very low tax and perfect market for cigarettes manufacturer to gain enourmous profit, while in the other hand, bring more Indonesians to their graves earlier.
Tobacco issue is a heartbreaking issue for me. I do realize that many farmers and workers earn their small welfare from it, events gain big-time sponsorship. But in the other hand, more people get sick since for many people--regardless of their financial situation-- smoke regularly either for masculinity, bravery, soothe feelings, relaxing effect. Adding to the fact that more male in their early teen smoke. Plus, the level of role model of Member Of REpresentative board who even smoke in several air-conditioned area or meeting rooms. ANd what hurt me often? It hurts me when I see people smoke almost in any place, they hardly care of what their smoke do to non-smokers. They exhale those poisonous smoke everywhere they smoke, even though there are people who cant inhale it.
Stop Smoking, and tell people not to smoke in public area!