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Jakarta Post

Indonesia faces triple health burden: COVID-19, TB and smoking

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)
Rita Widiadana
Denpasar, Bali   ●   Thu, March 25 2021

Into the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is still grappling with two other public health emergencies: smoking and tuberculosis (TB).

Despite government and public health experts’ advice saying smokers may be at risk of more severe COVID-19 symptoms, they continue to light up their cigarettes and tobacco-related products at alarming levels.

The smoking rate among Indonesians is currently embarrassingly high. As many as 61 million Indonesians smoke, of whom 67.4 percent are male and 4.5 percent women.

This disturbing number of active Indonesian smokers was confirmed by Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin during a virtual conference titled, Our Shared Responsibility: Ending Epidemics — Smoking and COVID-19 in Indonesia.

The virtual conference was jointly cohosted by the Health Ministry, Home Ministry, the Associat...

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