The plan to increase cigarette prices is a good strategy ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice Chairman of the Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) Osman Sapta Odang (OSO) has positively welcomed a plan to hike cigarette prices in the near future.

"The plan to increase cigarette prices is a good strategy to restrict teenagers from getting into the habit of smoking," Odang noted in a written statement received here on Monday.

The MPR vice chairman believes that by raising cigarette prices, teenagers, especially from middle-class families, who want to start smoking, will think twice whether they can afford them.

Sapta said the policy to hike cigarette prices is expected to reduce the number of new smokers among teenagers in future.

He also remarked that the increase in cigarette prices would also impact the rising price of tobacco that can benefit the farmers and improve their livelihood.

In the meantime, House of Representatives Speaker Ade Komarudin said the governments discourse to raise cigarette prices by two folds will help the state budget as it has the potential to increase state revenues.

"If the cigarette prices are raised, state revenues from the excise sector will automatically increase and help our state budget to become healthier in future," the house speaker remarked.

In addition, Komarudin said the governments proposal related to increasing cigarette prices would also reduce the societys consumptive behaviors towards smoking.

The politician with the Golkar Party stated that hiking the prices of cigarettes will also reduce the number of smokers in society.

Komarudin believed that the higher cigarette prices will not significantly impact the cigarette industry, including the sustainability of the tobacco farmers.

"I believe this will not affect the livelihood of the tobacco farmers as they can reap benefits of the cigarette price hike policy," he added.

The results of studies conducted by various parties indicated that active smokers would be more likely to stop smoking if the cigarette prices are increased by at least two folds the normal prices.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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