Tobacco Control Commission Considers Cigarette Excise Hike Less Effective
3 February 2023 21:59 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Commission on Tobacco Control asserted that increasing cigarette excise will not be effective in reducing tobacco consumption as long as the public could still purchase it by sticks not packs. The commission's chairperson Hasbullah Thabrany pushed for the government's plan to ban the sale of single-stick or loosie cigarettes
"The sales of loosie cigarettes also weakens the effectiveness of graphic health warnings on the packaging because children, as first-time smokers, are not exposed to warning pictures when buying cigarettes out of the package," said Hasbullah in a virtual press conference on Friday, February 3, 2023.
The sale of loosie cigarettes is feared to increase consumption among children. Hasbullah argued that if such a condition continues, it would keep poor people under the poverty line.
Hasbullah claimed more than Rp200 trillion was spent to buy cigarettes and most of the consumers were people living under the poverty line. "We argued that banning the sale of stick cigarettes will actually end impoverishment, instead of impoverishing the people,” Hasbullah emphasized.
In line with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's message at the end of last year, it is necessary to protect children and the poor from single-stick cigarettes. Ministries/state agencies must follow the President's instruction by implementing proper policies.
The ban on the sale of single-stick cigarettes was planned to be stipulated in the revised government regulation No. 109 of 2012 concerning the safety of addictive ingredients in tobacco products.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI
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