"Cigarettes are the cause of multidimensional problems at the global level, not only in the health sector but also bring a negative impact on socio-economy and culture," the ministry's health transformation communication staff, Ngabila Salama, stated in a talk show on Monday.
According to Salama, ample research has shown the negative impact of cigarettes on health issues, including physical and mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Apart from the health sector, smoking also causes economic problems. Studies from the research also showed that cigarettes are the second most common product consumed by poor families, Salama added.
She believes that spending on cigarettes among poor families should be diverted to spending on sources of animal protein, such as meat, chicken, and eggs.
Apart from that, another research states that by reducing cigarette spending by one percent, poverty will also be reduced by six percent.
"The price of one cigarette is around Rp1,500, equivalent to the price of one egg," she stated.
In addition, Salama highlighted that smoking is one of the causes of stunting in children and also resulted in motoric, developmental, and mental disorders.
She cautioned that mental disorders in children can also disrupt their concentration and cause a decline in their performance in school.
This was caused by around seven thousand dangerous substances contained in cigarettes, especially nicotine, which causes addiction; tar that triggers cancer in the body; and carbon monoxide that impedes the blood's ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and key organs, she explained.
Hence, Salama urged the public to stop and avoid smoking.
She drew attention to some efforts made to reduce the number of smokers by increasing cigarette excise prices and limiting cigarette advertising. For this reason, she proposed to relevant stakeholders to tighten regulations regarding cigarette advertising.
"Cigarette advertising exposure triggers the chance to smoke by five times greater," she pointed out.
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