The 2021 Tobacco Industry Interference Index in Indonesia: How the Industry Influences Tobacco Control Policies and Takes Advantage of the COVID-19 Situation
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Doctoral School of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Faculty of Health Sciences, Universitas Muhammadiyah, Jakarta, Indonesia
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Mouhamad Bigwanto   

Doctoral School of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A8
Over the years the industry also has been known to use its influence and financial power to undermine and thwart effective public health policies on tobacco control in various countries for business gain 1, 2. This effort can be done either directly or indirectly through third parties who have the same interests in the business, including in Indonesia 3. This study aims to determine the 2021 Tobacco Industry Interference (TII) index score for Indonesia and explain how the tobacco industry interfered with tobacco control policies and takes advantage of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia.

Material and Methods:
To identify the interference, we used data from a media monitoring report provided by media agency eBdesk from January 1st 2020 to March 31st 2021. All quotes were recorded and grouped into 20 questions under 7 indicators; 1) Level of Industry Participation in Policy Development, 2) Tobacco-Related Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities, 3) Benefits to the Tobacco Industry, 4) Forms of Unnecessary Interaction, 5) Transparency, 6) Conflict of Interest, and 7) Preventive Measures. The score depends on the number of incidents and/or level of strength. The maximum score for each question is 5 and the final score ranges from 20-100. The higher the score, the greater the influence of the tobacco industry.

Indonesia’s score for the 2021 TII index is 84. Tobacco industry interference in public policy continues as Indonesia still has no legal mechanism or effective framework to control the tobacco industry’s participation in policy development. Tobacco industry-sponsored CSR activities escalated in 2020 compared to previous years. The tobacco industry took the advantage of the COVID-19 crisis by contributing a varied number of donations for pandemic responses. During this period the tobacco industry received special incentives of tax relaxation from the Ministry of Finance. There were several meetings and engagements between the tobacco industry and the Indonesian government during this period.

There were preferential treatments given to the tobacco industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tobacco industry is still considered a stakeholder and a normal business. The government must adopt a code of conduct that regulates interactions with the tobacco industry and its front group.

The authors declare to have no relationship with or received funding from any industry that could affect the research results.
World Health Assembly, 54. Transparency in tobacco control process. WHO; 2001. Accessed April 21, 2023.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC: Report by the Convention Secretariat. WHO FCTC; 2016. FCTC/COP/7/7. Accessed April 21, 2023.
Bigwanto M. TOBACCO INDUSTRY INTERFERENCE UNDERMINED TOBACCO TAX POLICY IN INDONESIA. Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance; 2018. Accessed April 21, 2023.
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