Cigarettes are widely available In Indonesia, including children and even toddlers. Tobacco companies spend large amounts of money advertising their products, with many ads directly targeting young people.
It is estimated that about a million children in Indonesia under the age of 16 smoke, and that one third of Indonesian children try smoking before the age of 10. In Indonesia, it is perfectly legal for a child of any age to buy and smoke cigarettes.
Commercials that promote smoking appear on nearly every TV programme, and commonly show groups of youngsters having fun, individuals being creative and adventurous, or obedient sons carrying on the family heritage.
Youth smoking also has roots in local culture and in many parts of Java tobacco and cloves grow easily.
Clove cigarettes are widely introduced to boys aged 10-12 years old during the traditional coming-of-age ceremony, which is celebrated in many parts of Indonesia.
"Today's junior high school students will enter working age by 2020. Because of smoking in this age group, many will fall ill and be unable to work. The current youth smoking trend is alarming," said Abdillah Ahsan, a researcher at the University of Indonesia's Demographic Institute.
Now the National Commission for Child Protection, a semi-independent organisation established by the government, is drafting a class action lawsuit which it hopes will stem the tide and pave the way for stricter regulation.
The organization has stated that "The lawsuit has no financial demands. Our demand is for the cigarette industry to be more responsible and for the government to step up the policy against damages caused by cigarettes."
In 1995, the National Commission for Child Protection received 71,000 reports of child smokers; by 2007, the number had risen drastically to 429,000.
The commission says it has received reports from some 20 families claiming that their toddlers, aged between 11 months to two years old, are starting to develop a smoking habit.
Moreover, it has been report that around 89 million toddlers in Indonesia are exposed to second-hand smoke, with poor regulation largely to blame.