The city of Dortmund promotes tobacco trade in Indonesia, where cigarettes can be legitimately sold to children. The city owns the Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH. This company organizes the tobacco trade fair Inter-tabac ASIA, which for the first time is held in Indonesia on February 27th/28th. The city of Dortmund directly promotes the marketing of tobacco in a country where children are not protected from the dangers of smoking.
Therefore we, Yosef Rabindanata Nugraha (22) from Bogor (Indonesia) and Max Vollmer (27) from Dortmund (Germany), want the city of Dortmund to cancel the tobacco trade fair Inter-tabac ASIA.
They got me, Yosef from Indonesia, when I was 12 years old. I was lucky, I finally managed to quit smoking when I was 19. But some of my friends didn't. I don't want my country to be a destination for tobacco industry.
I, Max from Dortmund, am appalled by the irresponsible involvement of my hometown in tobacco business. Up to now the mayor and the city council are not willing to change the situation. They abdicate from their responsibility to instruct the Westhallenhallen to stop the tobacco trade fair in Indonesia immediately. It is so hard to fight global tobacco industry. Now here is an effective option. If many people sign the petition, the city cannot make investments against the will of their citizens,
We appeal to Ullrich Sierau, Mayor of the city of Dortmund and Friedhelm Sohn, chairman of the Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH's supervisory board:
1) Stop the Inter-tabac ASIA in 2014.
2) Make sure that Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH does not organize tobacco trade fairs in any country of the Global South in the future.
3) Dissociate from the tobacco industry in a public statement.
Please support us in making the city of Dortmund revise its actions. Sign our petition to the mayor of Dortmund Ullrich Sierau and the chairman of the supervisory board of the Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH, Friedhelm Sohn, now. Please pass the link on to your friends and acquaintances: www.change.org/dortmundkills.There is not much time left. Thank you, Yosef and Max.
Max and Yosef get support for their petition from the campaign Dortmund Kills. Dortmund Kills is organized by Forum Rauchfrei ("Forum smokefree"), Deutscher Jugendschutzverband (“German association for youth protection”), Indonesia Bebas Rokok ("Smokefree Indonesia"), Unfairtobacco.org and Stiftung rauchfrei leben ("Foundation smokefree living").
Tobacco industry targets growing markets in low- and middle-income countries, because the number of smokers in high-income countries is decreasing. If the industry succeeds in its efforts, the consequences for the population of these countries will be devastating and the number of deaths is going to rise dramatically.
Indonesia is considered as "tobacco friendly" and as a fast growing market for the tobacco industry. It is one of the few countries in the world where tobacco industry can do almost everything they want. There are virtually no enforceable regulations to protect the population from cigarette companies' efforts to hook them on tobacco. It is not forbidden to sell cigarettes to children. Massive advertising campaigns have led to an increase in smoking prevalence amongst boys aged 13 to 15 to more than 40 percent.
Tobacco consumption is also a poverty issue. In Indonesia more than 40% of the 247 million inhabitants live on less than 1.50 euro a day (45 euro per month). According to WHO, smokers in Indonesia spend on average 28 euro per month on cigarettes. Tobacco consumption has a direct impact on the food situation. Promoting tobacco trade fuels poverty!
Dear Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH and Chairman of the Commission on Children, Youth and Family of the City Council of Dortmund, Mr Friedhelm Sohn,
the Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH is organizing the Inter-tabac ASIA which takes place on 27/28 February 2014 in Bali, Indonesia. The trade fair promotes the sale and use of tobacco, especially in less industrialized countries, where there is virtually no protection of youth, health or consumers, as well as virtually no education concerning the dangers of tobacco use.
Being the sole shareholder of Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH, the city of Dortmund bears responsibility for the use of its name to promote a product that kills 6 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization WHO.
The city of Dortmund supports the tobacco industry in their effort to open up the market in Indonesia, a country that lacks enforceable regulation of tobacco consumption. Massive advertising campaigns have led to an increase in smoking prevalence amongst boys aged 13-15 to more than 40%, according to WHO. Children are handed over to the tobacco industry without protection.
Tobacco products are manufactured using abusive child labour, in Indonesia and other major tobacco producing countries. There is child labour in every cigarette.
The city of Dortmund adorns itself as "fair trade city" and in 2009 the municipal council decided to ban commodities produced by abusive child labour from its public procurement. Yet, the same city promotes the trade of tobacco, helping an industry that heavily relies on child labour for its profits.
We strongly urge you to:
- Stop the Inter-tabac ASIA.
- Make sure that Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH does not organize tobacco trade fairs in Indonesia or any other country of the Global South in future.
- Dissociate from the tobacco industry. Put public health over profits, in Indonesia and Dortmund.