• April 12, 2024

Indonesia Alarmed by Smoking Rates

 Indonesia Alarmed by Smoking Rates
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Indonesia’s Ministry of Health is urging stronger tobacco-control measures following news that the country’s smoking prevalence has reached 33.5 percent of the population, reports Antara.

Eva Susanti, director of non-communicable disease prevention and control at the Ministry of Health, attributed the popularity of smoking in part to the affordability of cigarettes and the considerable marketing freedoms enjoyed by tobacco companies in Indonesia.

“Promotional advertisements of tobacco products are still very widespread, and advertising regulations are still weak in terms of protecting Indonesian teenagers and reducing the desire [to smoke], especially among children and teenagers,” she noted.

Susanti called for higher taxes on both tobacco products and vapes, which have also gained popularity in Indonesia. The prevalence of e-cigarette use has grown from 0.3 percent of the population to 3 percent, she noted.

Susanti insisted that revenues earned from tobacco taxes should support efforts to control smoking and optimize stop-smoking services in all districts and cities in Indonesia.

She said that her ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture to monitor cigarette advertisements, implement excise and combat illegal cigarettes.