Jakarta (ANTARA News) - World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged Indonesian authority to raise cigarette customs and tax as it would not hurt industry and tobacco farmers.

WHO representative for Indonesia, Navaratnasamy Paranietharan remarked at World No Tobacco Day commemoration here on Thursday, up till now no valid evidences that show customs and tax for tobacco will hurt the economy.

"I want to remove myths that raising tobacco tax would cause state`s loss. No proof about that as the industry keeps running and actually the farmer could plant other profitable crops," he noted.

Paranietharan took the Philippines as one of example of a success story where the government could reduce number of smoker by raising tax whilst maintaining state`s revenue.

"It is important for Indonesia as a fact that 25 percent of death caused by cardiovascular disease that influenced by cigarette`s consumption," he said.

More importantly, Paranietharan urged the Indonesian government to work more seriously to address passive smokers.

According to WHO data, almost 80 percent of Indonesian people are passive smokers, who are very vulnerable to the disease caused by cigarette.

Paranietharan highlighted that Indonesia should reduce tobacco consumption to one third from 68 percent to 45 percent by 2025 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in health area.

"We still have a lot of work to complete within seven years," he noted.

WHO has been urging Indonesia to ratify Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) since an inter-ministerial meeting on FCTC held in Indonesia on April 1, 2014.

FCTC has been ratified by 178 parties, representing 90 percent of global population, as the convention implement specific measures to reduce tobacco use and protect populations from associated deaths and early deaths.

WHO believes that tobacco industry must not be allowed to handcuff any government from implementing the measures.


Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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