Bogor, Indonesia, wins court case to uphold the city’s ban on the display of tobacco products at point-of-sale

The city of Bogor, Indonesia, won a court case upholding its ban on the display of tobacco products at point-of-sale on 24 February. In 2017, Bogor became the first Indonesian city to implement a point-of-sale tobacco display ban as part of its smokefree law.

The case against the ban was raised by three retailers, who claimed that it was unreasonable because cigarettes are legal, and contribute to excise taxes and to the success of local businesses.

Overwhelming support was expressed by Bogor residents and civil society members across Indonesia in favour of maintaining Bogor’s tobacco control policies, which serve to protect people from the harms of tobacco and to prevent young people from starting smoking. The Union’s grantee, the Muhammadiyah Student Association, rallied young people in Bogor to send 1000 letters in support of the city’s smokefree law to the Mayor. 

Technical and legal support to contest the lawsuit was provided by The Union and other organisations including RAYA Indonesia, No Tobacco Community (NOTC) and the Ministry of Health.

Mayor Bima Arya of Bogor welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ban on the display of tobacco products at point-of-sale. He said: “Data shows that smoking is a major contributor to stunting in children and undernourishment, as families are spending more money on cigarettes than on nutritious food. Bogor City’s smokefree policies help our community.”

“Displaying tobacco products at point-of-sale is one of the primary channels for tobacco companies to market their products, especially to children and young people,” said Dr Tara Singh Bam, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific at The Union. “The Supreme Court verdict to uphold the ban is a huge public health win for tobacco control, as it will give confidence to all subnational leaders across the Asia Pacific region to implement lifesaving policies like this without fear of being targeted by similar lawsuits.”

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