Wednesday, 30 September 2020 | 12:56 WIB

Besieged by Cigarettes, Young Generation Will only Become Demographic Burden

Illustration: Electronic cigarette is more dangerous than regular cigarettes.

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Spokesperson of Youth Movement of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Margianta SJD said from the results of National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas) in 2010, 10-14 year old smokers increased by 3.96 million or 10,869 new smokers per day. In the same year, Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) found that young smokers aged 15-19 years continued to triple in five years.

According to the FCTC, the situation is very alarming, because the facts describe the threat of Indonesia's national development agenda as the young generation is besieged by cigarettes.

"Indonesia demographic bonus in the year 2045 will only become a demographic burden if the younger generation of the nation gets sick because of cigarettes," said Margianta in a written statement received on Friday (9/15/2017).

Margianta further said the government's plan to consider the rise in cigarette excise by 2018 should be supported. In addition to increasing state revenues, the rise in cigarette taxes also has impact on increased prices of cigarettes. Cigarette excise must also be understood in accordance with its essence as a control instrument, not solely state income.

For the FCTC, the rise in cigarette excise will reduce the public tendency to buy cigarettes, especially the younger generation who represent a quarter of Indonesia's population and play an important role in national development.

"The price of cigarettes which is too cheap makes young people easily access cigarettes and then choked by addiction," said Margianta.

For the FCTC, relying the future of the young generation and national development on hazardous products such as cigarettes is inevitably contrary to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Indonesia wants to achieve by 2030. Margianta said it is appropriate for cigarette taxes to be raised to protect young Indonesians and to apply the aspect of sustainability in Indonesia's national development. (*)