Craig David abused for cigarette company-sponsored concerts

On March, 1, anti-tobacco and child rights campaigners in Indonesia abused worldwide music stars for willing to take part at a jazz festival for which a cigarette company is the major sponsor.

The Indonesian Commission on Tobacco Control forced engaging music stars such as Joss Stone, Craig David and Lisa Stansfield to require cigarette sponsorship to be taken away from the International Java Jazz Festival, which was to be from March, 1 to March, 3.

Java Jazz Festival 2013

Java Jazz Festival

PT Djarum, one of the country’s biggest cigarette manufacturers, is the principal sponsor.

“We Indonesians are pleased to have Java Jazz Festival and are delighted to have you involved,” the commission said to international and local artists engaging in one of the largest jazz festivals in Asia.

“But taking part in this festival means you help them market cigarettes to Indonesian youngsters,” it said. “We call for your support to free Indonesian youngsters from the way of nicotine dependancy.”

Organizer Peter Gontha said the festival might not be gone in the coming years without sponsorship from a tobacco company.

But the National Commission on Child Protection rejected that, stating that in 2009 and 2011, none of the sponsors was a tobacco company.

“The commission has observed that young adults and children joined the festival”. “When tobacco companies invest money in music concerts and sports events, they want to create the image that smoking is trendy.”

Indonesia, with 237 inhabitants, has a third ranking worldwide for the quantity of smokers after China and India, as outlined by the World Health Organization.

Concerts, sporting events and youth activities are frequently financed by tobacco companies.

Around 65% of Indonesian males and 35% of females aged 15 or older are smokers, with many taking up smoking at a young age, the Health Ministry mentioned.

In 2010, a video demonstrating 2-year-old Aldi Rizal smoking a cigarette captured international attention after it hit the internet. The boy, who was smoking about 40 cigarettes per day, was sent to therapy and has since stopped smoking.

The government released a rule in January that demands cigarette companies to place pictorial health warnings about the risk of tobacco on cigarette packages.

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