Sarah Ervina Dara Siyahailatua, Jakarta – The Tobacco Control Support Center recorded that Indonesia ranks third with the world's most smokers with at least 90 million active smokers in 2015.
Out of the number, the 2018 basic health research (Riskesdas) revealed an increasing trend of smoking prevalence among children up to 9.1 percent. This means that there are at least 8 million children in Indonesia that are active smokers, which is truly distressing.
"The growth in smoking prevalence among children is proof of the weak tobacco control in this country. Other than lacking comprehensive tobacco control regulations, Indonesia is also weak in monitoring the regulations itself," said Lentera Anak chairwoman, Lisda Sundari in a press release on November 12.
She further urged the government to actively engage in suppressing the country's smoking prevalence by limiting the access to cigarettes for children, increase prices above the current price, and stringently monitor 'smoking free' areas.
"Tobacco tax must be increased as high as it can be to make it unattainable for children. The government must not half-heartedly increase this tax," said Lisda.
However, she asserted that dropping the smoking prevalence among children is a task that must be held by everyone apart from the government's regulatory attempts on curbing smoking.