TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia has been named as the country with the highest percentage of smokers in South East Asia, with 51.1 percent of the population classified as active smokers.
The Head of the Agency for Tobacco Control and the Indonesian Public Health Association (IAKMI), Widyastuti Soerojo, said in Jakarta on Friday, February 6, 2015, that Indonesia scores far lower than its' neighbours. Soerojo said that only 1.16 percent of Cambodians smoke, Brunei Darussalam scores better with only 0.06 percent of its' population smokes, while 10.22 percent of Thailand's population smokes.
"The majority of Indonesian smokers come from a lower socio-economic background," said Soerojo.
According to the 2013 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas), 43.8 percent of those who come from a low socioeconomic background are active smokers - while only 29.4 percent of those who come from a mid-to-high socioeconomic background smokes.
When categorised by educational background, the figures are similar - 37.7 percent of those who did not have an educational diploma and/or whose last diploma is primary school are smokers, while 26.7 percent of those who completed tertiary education are smokers.
Furthermore, Riskesdas noted that farmers, fishermen and labourers are more likely to smoke - with 44.5 percent categorized as active smokers, while only 33.6 and 39.8 percent of office employees and self-employed workers are smokers, respectively.
"The fact that the disadvantaged are more likely to fall victim to smoking addiction is very alarming," said Soerojo.
The research also found that 33.4 percent of those aged between 30 to 34 years old are active smokers, while 32.2 percent of those aged between 35 to 39 years old are daily smokers. Males are more likely to be active smokers than females - as 47.5 percent of Indonesian males are active smokers, compared to 1.1 percent of Indonesian females.
ANTARANEWSResearch: 51,1 percent of Indonesians are Active Smokers.