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Jakarta Post

Tobacco control a solution to the dilemma?

  • Alita Damar

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 30 2011   /  08:00 am

The recent news on a possible halt to the ongoing discussions over the draft presidential decree on tobacco control has certainly raised serious concerns among the health community in this country.

With statistics showing a 26 percent growth in tobacco consumption over the last 15 years, placing Indonesia among the world’s three largest tobacco consumers, pressure is mounting on the government to toughen regulations concerning prevention of tobacco-related diseases, particularly cancer, and cardiovascular and lung diseases, which kill more than 200,000 citizens every year.

In a country where smoking prevalence reached 34 percent in 2008, with 63 percent of men smoking and the number of adolescents taking up smoking on the rise, the impact of secondhand smoke, therefore, cannot be taken lightly. The majority of smokers here consume cigarettes made of tobacco and cloves.<...