Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin called attention to the grim fact that the health burden borne by the country on account of diseases caused by cigarettes far outweighed the income earned.

"The health burden incurred for chronic lung disease is bigger than the customs and excise income," he remarked when met after the World No Tobacco Day activities on Tuesday.

Sadikin stated that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is caused by smoking cigarettes, among other factors, had pushed the health budget managed by the National Health Insurer (BPJS Health) by more than Rp10 trillion (US$597 million) last year.

Apart from COPD, other expensive diseases, such as heart failure and lung cancer, are also caused by smoking.

The minister also assumed that many of the sufferers of this disease had not been detected.

"Lung cancer is the number one killer of men. Many are undetected. We do not know the cause of death, and it is actually because of lung cancer," Sadikin pointed out.

In connection with this matter, the ministry's Director of Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, Eva Susanti, also affirmed that the losses incurred due to cigarette consumption surpassed the state revenues from cigarette excise.

"The cost of treatment for diseases caused by smoking is three times higher than the excise tax received by the state," she explained.

She stated that based on a study regarding health costs for treating diseases caused by smoking in 2020, the state revenue in 2017 from excise on tobacco products amounted to Rp147.7 trillion, while the value of macroeconomic losses from cigarette consumption reached Rp431.8 trillion.

According to the study results, a total of 4.9 million cases of diseases caused by smoking were reported, with 209,429 deaths in 2017. In addition, 21 types of diseases were caused by the use of tobacco products, with 11 of them being cancer.

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Translator: Sean Filo M, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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