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Health ministry reports decrease in teen smoking but rise in e-cigarette use

Jakarta Globe - May 29, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The prevalence of smoking among 10-18-year-olds in Indonesia has decreased to 7.4 percent in 2023, according to the Indonesian Health Survey (SKI) 2023, down from 9.1 percent recorded in the 2018 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas).

During a World No Tobacco Day media briefing in Jakarta on Wednesday, Eva Susanti, Director of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control at the Health Ministry, said the figure is still higher than the 7.2 percent prevalence in 2013 and the 5.4 percent target set in the 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN).

Eva also highlighted a trend of children switching from conventional cigarettes to electronic ones. According to the survey, there is an increase in the use of e-cigarettes, from 0.06 percent in 2018 to 0.13 percent in 2023.

The survey data revealed that the highest age range for starting smoking is 15-19 years at 56.5 percent, followed by 10-14 years at 18.4 percent.

Eva warned of the dangers posed by the growing number of active smokers in Indonesia, driven by aggressive marketing of tobacco products, particularly to teenagers. She emphasized that Indonesia's large population makes it a lucrative market for various products, including cigarettes.

She stressed the importance of educating children to understand that smoking is not a positive trend and brings more harm than benefits. Eva noted that the younger someone starts smoking, the more addicted they become as they age, making it harder to quit.

To combat this, the Health Ministry is intensifying efforts to prevent children from smoking. This includes banning the consumption of tobacco and e-cigarettes by children and pregnant women, prohibiting tobacco advertising on social media, and outlawing the sale of single cigarettes.

Additionally, Eva mentioned that under Law No. 17 of 2023 on Health and several Government Regulations, local governments are required to establish smoke-free areas (KTR) in places such as schools, healthcare facilities, and public transportation.

Moreover, the Ministry provides a free counseling service for people who want to quit smoking through Quitline.INA at 0-800-177-6565. Community health centers (puskesmas) also offer assistance in managing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/lifestyle/health-ministry-reports-decrease-in-teen-smoking-but-rise-in-ecigarette-us