REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BANTUL -- Deputy for Coordination for Health Quality Improvement and Population Development at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Agus Suprapto said, during a pandemic like this, cigarettes are still a big consumption, especially in Indonesia.
He said cigarette consumption during the pandemic was still very high. Since the government's policy to limit people's mobility, cigarette consumption has been recorded to continue to rise. Indonesia is a country with a high prevalence of cigarette consumption in the world.
Agus reminded, many smokers in Indonesia are teenagers who are still in school. Data from the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, as many as 18.8 percent of students 13-15 years old are active smokers, 57.8 percent of students are active smokers, and 60 percent are not prevented from buying cigarettes.
According to Agus, the existence of cigarette advertisements also affects the exposure of cigarettes to teenagers. Moreover, nowadays online learning is very common, children spend a lot of time with electronic devices.
"The rise of cigarette advertisements on digital platforms also affects youth's interest in cigarettes," said Agus in the Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Network (MTCN) talk show, Saturday (27/11).
Based on data from the London School of Public Relations (LSPR), exposure to cigarette advertising through online media has a strong relationship with smoking behavior. In fact, 100 percent of teens who smoke will continue to smoke after seeing a cigarette advertisement.
Then, 10 percent of teenagers have a tendency to smoke even after seeing cigarette advertisements. So far, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture itself has carried out various tobacco consumption controls, including physical and non-physical.
For the physical steps taken, such as the preparation of excise rates by maintaining price affordability so that it is not affordable for novice smokers. Then, simplifying the tariff structure and implementing mitigation policies.
Non-physical policies develop a healthy environment and implement regulations for non-smoking areas, expand smoking cessation services to a target of 40 percent of level I health facilities in 300 districts/cities, and request social assistance not to buy cigarettes.
In addition, Agus reminded, this is a shared role, not just the role of the government. Therefore, we can start a simple role in controlling cigarette consumption by educating families, especially those who are still in their teens.
"Hopefully, with this agenda, we will be able to find a new angle in the problem of cigarette consumption, especially for teenagers," said Agus.
Coinciding with National Health Day 2021, MTCN provides several recommendations related to controlling cigarette consumption. Among other things, affirming the total ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of cigarettes in print, outdoor, online and digital media.