Protect children through implementation of smoke-free areas: Ministry

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Several districts and cities have not implemented a Regional Regulation regarding smoke-free areas

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Health has urged regional governments to protect children from smoking through stricter supervision and implementation of smoke-free areas in their respective regions.

“Several districts and cities have not implemented a Regional Regulation regarding smoke-free areas,” the ministry’s Director of Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention and Handling, Eva Susanti, stated at the Healthy Heart for All talk show followed online here on Tuesday.

Susanti emphasized the need for regional governments to conduct stricter supervision of smoke-free areas since according to the ministry’s data, currently, those in the age bracket of 10 to 18 years can access cigarettes easily.

Moreover, the number of children in the same age group using electric cigarettes has also increased by almost 200 percent.

Related news: Smoking electronic cigarettes can be harmful to dental health: Dentist

She believes that the other reason is smoke-free areas that are supervised strictly can reduce the space for smokers to smoke.

Susanti pointed out that cigarette consumption ate into 30 percent of the household budgets on a monthly basis, which should have otherwise ideally been used to improve children’s nutrition to prevent stunting.

“It surpasses eggs, fish, and others,” she pointed out.

Apart from homes, she also suggested smoke-free areas to be formed in schools, public spaces, health facilities, such as community health centers (puskesmas), and public transport waiting areas.

“We hope that efforts to stop smoking would be monitored by the legislature to be implemented and then our society should also know that we should pay attention to smoke-free areas,” she stated.

Related news: YKI backs cigarette tax hike to prevent new cancer cases

Head of the Indonesian Cardiologist Association (PERKI) Radityo Prakoso remarked that vapes and regular cigarettes have the same content. In fact, the quantity of harmful substances in vapes is higher.

According to Prakoso, drawing constant attention to the dangers of smoking is the duty of the government, through the Ministry of Health, so that people do not believe in hoaxes related to smoking.

Especially amid the increasing number of heart disease patients, he emphasized that despite technology and hospitals developing rapidly, all would prove to be futile if people were to ignore their heart health.

Related news: Ministry moves to gather support for smoking regulation revision

Related news: Need intervention strategies to reduce smoking prevalence: expert

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