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Jakarta Post

Strengthen govt support to help smokers quit

Strengthen govt support to help smokers quit The rate of people attempting to quit smoking is insignificant. The WHO reported that up to 30.4 percent of smokers in Indonesia have tried to quit smoking, but only 9.5 percent have been successful, even despite the raised excise tariff. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
Widya Kartika and Rahmanda Muhammad Thaariq
Jakarta   ●   Sat, October 12, 2019

Reducing the prevalence of smoking is far from easy. Using excise taxes to reduce smoking rates is the go-to weapon with high expectations. However, it has not provided encouraging results, especially in Indonesia’s case.

Data from the World Health Organization highlights that Indonesia currently has the highest prevalence of smoking in the world for adult males. The figure continued to increase from 70 percent in 2010 to 76 percent in 2016. In addition, Basic Health Survey (Riskesdas) data from the Health Ministry shows that the prevalence of youth smokers soared to 8.8 percent in 2017, exceeding the government’s planned target of 5.4 percent.

A few local initiatives reflect the vital role of the commitment of leadership in tobacco control. In late September, the city of Bogor in West Java for the first time hosted the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Alliance...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.