Sutopo's Death Highlights Dangers of Passive Smokers



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Many saw that the passing of former National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho should be an eye-opener for the public on the importance of having smoke-free environments to prevent people from becoming second-hand smokers.

    This was mentioned by the chairman of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), Tulus Abadi. “It is urgent that all work environments and public spaces be turned into smoke-free areas, this should be without compromise,” said Tulus in a written statement on Monday, July 8.

    Tulus said that Sutopo’s passing had added to the list of Indonesians falling victim to cancer. The well-known BNPB figure was diagnosed with stadium IVB lung cancer at St. Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou, China. 

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    During his life, Sutopo said that he maintained a healthy lifestyle by avoiding smoking. However, he said that he would always find himself in working environments with active smokers and that he was unable to avoid them.

    “In terms of passive smoking, Pak Sutopo is not alone. Nationally, the 2013 Basic Health Research noted that there are more than 90 million passive smokers, with more than 12 million being children at the ages of zero to four year-old,” said Tulus. 

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    Tulus said that non-smokers would often turn into passive smokers either at their work environment or at their own home. “The risk of contracting lung cancer for passive smokers is four times bigger while active smokers are 13.6 times likely to suffer from it,” he said.

    The YLKI chairman also maintained that living a healthy life without being contaminated by cigarette smoke is a basic human right.