TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The latest survey conducted by the National Committee on Tobacco Control found that the COVID-19 pandemic since early March had not changed the smoking behavior among smokers, and even showed increasing signs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic had not suppressed [Indonesia’s] smoking behavior. The government needs to implement stronger fiscal and non-fiscal policies to entice its people away from smoking,” said the committee's lead researcher, Krishna Puji Rahmayanti, in Tuesday’s press conference.
The survey involved 612 respondents who represented Indonesia’s regions from May 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020.
49.8 percent of respondents who smoke revealed that they continue to spend money on cigarettes even amidst the pandemic, while 13.1 percent of the smokers said their expense to feed their smoking habit had increased.
77.14 percent of the respondents involved in the tobacco control survey consists of people with monthly wages less than Rp5 million, 9.8 percent of the respondents earning a monthly income under Rp2 million, and only 17.8 percent of them have a monthly income from Rp2 million up to Rp5 million.
The tobacco control national commission urges the government to intervene with policies that could reduce the smoking behavior in Indonesia especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.