TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Health Minister, Nila F. Moeloek, mentioned cigarette smoking as the main cause of non-communicable diseases such as coronary disease and cancer.
“A probability of smokers contracting a coronary disease and lung cancer is twice or four times larger,” said Nila at the Health Ministry headquarters during the commemoration of No Tobacco Day 2019, which falls on May 31, on Thursday, July 11.
Indonesia is currently considered as a country with one of the world’s highest smoking prevalence. Based on the data from Basic Health research (Riskesdas) 2013, more than 97 million Indonesians are exposed to smoke, which is expected to grow even larger especially among children and teenagers.
Riskesdas 2018 states that the smoking prevalence of people below 18 years old grew from 7.2 to 9.1 percent. The growth, says the study, is also contributed by the ever-increasing cigarette advertisements on social media platforms, which arguably opens the door for children to become early smokers.
The Health Ministry’s research and development agency in 2015 found that the high number of smokers contributed to the country’s mortality rate and contributed to the 230,000 deaths caused by tobacco consumption.
Based on the Globocan 2018 data, smoking has caused 12.6 percent of lung cancer cases. Meanwhile, the Pusat Persahabatan General Hospital recorded 87 percent of lung cancer patients are linked to their smoking lifestyle.