Jakarta (ANTARA) - New strategies in the efforts to prevent and control cigarette consumption in Indonesia are highly needed, as smoking prevalence in the country has reached 33.5 percent, according to an official from the Ministry of Health.

The statement was made by Director of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, Eva Susanti, at the "Policy Brief and National Monitoring of Cigarette Selling Prices in 2023" discussion event in Jakarta on Wednesday.

"Cigarette prices in Indonesia are still relatively cheap, and efforts to increase these prices through excise and tax will be a priority," she remarked.

She underscored the need for other strategies in monitoring tobacco product consumption, implementing preventive measures, protecting people from cigarette smoke, and optimizing stop-smoking services.

According to Susanti, Indonesia's smoking prevalence, which has reached 33.5 percent, or equal to 70 million people, must be reduced by increasing cigarette excise and tax.

"Not only for tobacco cigarettes, (but) we must (also) make efforts to reduce the prevalence of electronic cigarette (users), which has significantly increased, from 0.3 percent to three percent," she stated.

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Susanti remarked that funds from excise and the Tobacco Excise Revenue Sharing Fund (DBHCT) must be directed to support efforts to control smoking and optimize stop-smoking services in all districts and cities in Indonesia.

She noted that in monitoring efforts, her ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, and the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture to monitor cigarette advertisements, implement excise, and combat the menace of illegal cigarettes across sectors.

"Promotional advertisements of tobacco products are still very widespread, and advertising regulations are still weak in terms of protecting Indonesian teenagers and reducing the desire (to smoke) to reduce the prevalence of smoking, especially among children and teenagers," she remarked.

Susanti affirmed that her ministry hopes to be able to reduce smoking prevalence, protect people from the effects of smoking, and improve the health of Indonesia's future generations.

Related news: Increase in price would not cut cigarette consumption

Translator: Rivan Awal, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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