TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) chairman Tulus Abadi opined that the tobacco control policy during the era of President Joko Widodo or Jokowi experienced a setback. The most prominent indicator, he said, was the increase in the prevalence rate of noninfectious diseases such as cancer, stroke, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension.
“There is a sharp increase when compared data of the 2013 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) to data of the 2018 Riskesdas,” said Tulus Tuesday, March 12, during a discussion held by Indonesian Institute for Social Development in Jakarta.
Tulus outlined that the cancer prevalence in 2013 was at 1.4 percent and rose to 1.8 percent in 2018; the prevalence rate of cancer also increased from 7 percent to 10.9 percent; chronic kidney disease from 2 percent to 3.8 percent; and diabetes mellitus from 6.9 percent to 8.5 percent.
Despite cigarette was not the sole cause of those diseases, Tulus admitted, the consumption of tobacco products in Indonesia clearly made a contribution. “Over 35 percent of Indonesian are passive smokers and 70 percent of them are active smokers,” he noted.
Additionally, the country’s cigarette production reached 350 billion pieces, “and 90 percent of them is consumed by Indonesian,” Tulus said, adding that Indonesian cigarette tax was among the lowest in the world.
According to Tulus, the hike in the prevalence rate of the noninfectious disease proved that Jokowi could not control cigarette consumption. As a result, the performance of the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) declined. “In climax, [BPJS Kesehatan] experiences financial bleeding in 2018, amounted to Rp16.5 trillion.”
However, Tulus assessed that Prabowo Subianto has a lack of vision too on tobacco control, besides Jokowi. “In the era of Jokowi, there is a setback in tobacco policy control, while Prabowo also does not have a clear vision on the matter,” he concluded.