Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 15:34 WIB

We need food, not tobacco!


Jakarta, IO – A smoking habit is a great risk factor in preventable death. Data from many surveys show that a higher smoking rate strongly correlates with a higher mortality rate. The WHO 2018 factsheet claims that tobacco causes 225,720 deaths a year in Indonesia, or 14.7% of all fatalities.

The most common cause of death directly caused by cigarette use is cardiovascular disease (65%), with the highest prevalence detected among those in a 30-44 year-old age range, at 45%. 

According to the 2021 Health Baseline Research, the number of adult smokers has increased by 8.8 million, from 60.3 million smokers in 2011 to 69.1 million in 2021. The earlier people start a smoking habit (currently the average age to start is 17.6), the higher the risk of heart attacks among the young.

The 2018 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) shows that tobacco use among the young includes 19.2% of the population, with teen boys being the dominant group. 

“The habit of tobacco smoking is closely related to incommunicable chronic diseases – lung cancer, heart problems, blood vessel obstructions or strokes, and chronic lung diseases.

People must be aware of the dangers of smoking and actively work to dissuade children and teens from starting to smoke,” reports dr. Feni Fitriani Taufik, Sp.P(K), Head of Cigarette Task Force of the Indonesian Society of Respirology (Perhimpunan Dokter Paru Indonesia – PDPI), in an online media meet held to commemorate the “World No-Tobacco Day” on Tuesday (30/5/2023). 

In Indonesia, Law Number 36 of 2009 concerning Health sets No Tobacco Zones (NTZ) in places like healthcare facilities, learning and teaching facilities, children’s playgrounds, places of worship, public transport, workplaces and other spots, to acknowledge the people’s right to clean air. 

“NTZ implementation is meant to protect people from being exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke. We still need to disseminate the terms ‘secondhand smoker’, ‘passive smoker’, and ‘third-hand smoker’ to the people, as the dangers of smoking is not limited to smokers themselves, but also to the environment around them. PDPI requests that NTZ owners strictly set up the Zone as intended, and monitor it closely,” dr. Feni said. 


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