Updated in March 2020
Indonesia Vapor Entrepreneurs Association (APVI) was established in 2014 by e-cigarette retailers and importers. Ever since, APVI has been actively promoting e-cigarettes through various channels, including on social media Instagram. This organization provides e-cigarette entrepreneurs a platform for lobbying the government to derail efforts on banning e-cigarettes. Apart from activities that APVI conducts independently, the association also banded together with other organizations such as the Indonesian Vapers Association (AVI) and Public Health Observer Foundation (YPKP) to form the GEBRAK (Tar and Smoke Free Movement) coalition in 2019 and became the Chair for the coalition. APVI is also known as one of the founding organizations and donors for the Indonesia Tar-Free Coalition (KABAR).
Relationship with The Tobacco Industry
There is no specific information on APVI’s relationship with the tobacco industry, except for media coverage on its statement of support for heated tobacco products touted as innovative and reduced-risk products. APVI also advised the Indonesia government to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision on allowing heated tobacco product distribution in its country.
APVI activities are funded by at least 12 corporations, including PT. HM Sampoerna. The tobacco industry’s involvement in the association is interesting to note as most of APVI’s donors are companies that related to e-cigarette liquid manufacturers and distributors.
Lobbying against Tobacco Control measures
APVI has a quite massive voice in the media, especially in 2018 and 2019. They conveyed varied messages in the media; such as public campaigns on e-cigarettes as 95% safer than conventional cigarettes and promoting e-cigarettes as an effective tool to quit smoking., AVI also urged the government to follow the U.K. government in regulating e-cigarettes and reduce excise tax tariff for e-cigarettes to give incentives for small and medium scale businesses involved in the alternative tobacco product industry., When the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) proposed a ban on e-cigarette products, APVI objected to the idea, arguing that it will adversely affect the national economy, especially the government revenue from the excise tax. This group also attempted to convince tobacco farmers that e-cigarette products legalization will not harm their living hood, and lobbied Surabaya’s government to not include e-cigarettes in their local regulation on smoke-free areas as the product does not emit smoke.,
Under GEBRAK movement, APVI with the other GEBRAK member launched an online petition in support of alternative tobacco products as a quit-smoking tool. Together with Indonesia Vapers Association (AVI), APVI mobilized e-cigarette users to do Lung X-rays campaign. They also organized varied talk shows to support e-cigarettes and held national vape fairs from 2014 to 2016. ,,,