TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The threat posed by tobacco consumption in Indonesia has entered a critical level, despite the numerous studies linking smoking to cardiovascular disease and the growing cases of coronary heart disease.
According to Laksmiati A. Hanafiah, Chief of Indonesia Heart Foundation and National Commission on tobacco control, information on the urgency and threats of tobacco consumption through smoking has countlesly been informed to the public. However, the public’s level of awareness remains undesirable.
This is proven by the fact that smoking habit among young smokers and first-timers have grown higher as a result of the rampant ads promoting certain lifestyles by the cigarette industry that make smoking seems ‘cool’.
“What’s sad is that 70 percent of smokers come from poor families and are considered in the productive age where the money spent for cigarettes could actually be allocated to buy food and beverages,” said Laksmiati today, June 23.
Furthermore, she added that the growing phenomena found is that cigarettes in Indonesia are still priced at an astonishingly affordable price, which eventually further supports the country’s smoking habit.
“One of the many attempts that can be done to reduce the number of cigarette consumption is by raising the prices of this product,” Laksmiati explained.
According to Laksmiati, controlling tobacco consumption must be approached holistically and in an integrated process both by the government and the general public. Education on the dangers of tobacco consumption must start from immediate families, schools, and communities to prevent future generations turning into avid consumers cigarettes.