The Number of Beginner Smokers Increases to 88.6 Percent

WARTA KOTA, PALMERAH — The number of novice smokers is increasing. Nearly 88.6 percent of smokers start smoking under the age of 13 years. Chairman of the Tobacco Control Support Center, Dr. Santi Martini, Dr. M.Kes acknowledged that the price of cigarettes in Indonesia was indeed too cheap. That caused the number of novice smokers to increase from 7.2 percent in 2013 to 8.8 percent in 2016 (Sirkesnas, 2016).

Whereas previously, the Ministry of Health targeted a 1 percent reduction in the prevalence of child smokers under the age of 18 years. “This shows, cheap cigarettes also encourage children who are able to buy cigarettes and can be addicted so that they become smokers who cannot stop,” said Dr Santi, as quoted from a press statement received by Warta Kota on Monday (7/23/2018). The price of cigarettes is considered not cheap when Rp. 60,000.

Based on Atlas Tobbaco’s research, Indonesia is ranked as the third highest number of smokers in the world. The number of smokers in Indonesia in 2016 reached 90 million. Indonesia ranks the highest smoking prevalence for men in ASEAN, which is 67.4 percent. This fact is exacerbated by the increasing age of smokers in Indonesia. Data from the National Commission (National Commission on Child Protection) shows that the number of smokers of children under the age of 10 in Indonesia reaches 239,000. As many as 19.8 percent first tried cigarettes before the age of 10 and almost 88.6 percent first tried it under the age of 13. Most smokers come from poor families. He explained, 84.8 million smokers in Indonesia earn less than Rp 20,000 per day. Smokers in Indonesia 70 percent of them come from poor families.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) released that in September 2016, cigarettes were commodities that contributed to poverty of 10.70 percent in urban and rural areas. “If the price of cigarettes is not immediately raised, then Indonesia will soon face economic disruptions caused by declining productivity and the swelling of the national health insurance budget,” said Dr Santi at the declaration. Indonesian Cigarette Victims Alliance (AMKRI) Alliance in Surabaya, East Java. AMKRI East Java consists of patients from various diseases such as vocal cords, breast cancer, lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, asthma, chronic pulmonary disease. In addition, AMKRI members from the families of victims have the same passion and purpose in controlling cigarettes in Indonesia. They came from various regions in East Java including Gresik, Siduarjo, Surabaya, and Tulung Agung.

AMKRI East Java declared support to the government to immediately ratify the Frame Work Convention of Tobacco Control, make regional regulations without cigarettes, and make the price of cigarettes expensive so that they cannot be reached by children and the wider community. AMKRI urges the Indonesian government and DPR RI to immediately form and enforce cigarette policies and controls. Refuse all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of the tobacco industry including covert corporate social responsibility (CSR). Take part in conveying information and education about the dangers of cigarettes to the people with the truth

Increasing the price of cigarettes as high as possible to reach the children, adolescents, and the wider community, especially poor families. (*)

this also affects the use of gas matches in Indonesia

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