Tuesday, 31 March 2020 | 15:57 WIB

Indonesia Has Highest Number of Teenage Smokers in the World

Laksmiati Hanafiah, Acting Chairperson of the National Commission for Tobacco Control (nnc)

JAKARTA, NNC - Laksmiati Hanafiah, Acting Chairperson of the National Commission for Tobacco Control, says the number of Indonesian teenage smokers is the highest in the world. This number includes teenagers aged 15 to 19 years.

According to Laksmiati, also known as Mia, this fact is not surprising, considering that regulations that control tobacco in Indonesia are still weak, and most of the population are active smokers.

"We (Indonesia) become easy targets, they (the cigarette industry) can do business in our country easily," she said to NNC during the Shopping Race event in Jakarta, Friday (22/12/2017).

Mia said, the reason for the cigarette industry targeted young people because the industry targets new smokers. If targeting loyal customers cigarettes, according to Mia, the group is already addicted,  and certainly difficult to stop.

She continued that the impact will be felt by young smokers aged 10 to 15 years. This can be seen from the number of heart attack patients who are getting younger.

"Though we will face demographic bonuses, but what happens when young people are being given cigarettes? So this is a tough one," Mia said.

World Health Organization (WHO) report on the global tobacco epidemic of 2017 states that the price of cigarettes in Indonesia is the cheapest in the world that is still the discovery of cigarettes at a price of IDR5,833 per pack.

In the results of a survey conducted by the Lentera Anak Indonesia Foundation in 2017, the cigarette industry currently uses sales promotion tactics that show price per stem so it is very easy to attract children and poor families to buy cigarettes. As much as 78.9 percent of cigarette promotions include the price of cigarettes per stem so attract attention.

"For that reason, the National Commission for Tobacco Control attempts to encourage the government to raise the price of cigarettes as high as possible so that poor children and poor families can not afford to buy cigarettes so that the economic burden of cigarette consumption can be suppressed to poor families and the money they spend on buying cigarettes can be allocated to other expenditures that are far more useful, "said Mia.