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Indonesia: Health Expert’s Suggestion to Help You Quit Smoking

14 June 2022

Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor:Laila Afifa, Tempo.co

TEMPO.COJakarta – Citing a 2019 report by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) entitled “The Tobacco Control Atlas,” the number of Indonesians actively smoking amounts to a staggering 65.19 million people, which tops other countries in Southeast Asia. 

Pulmonologist from the Medan Siloam Hospital (Dhirga Surya) Dr. Rudy Irawan Sp P(K) in an interview says that a healthy environment is needed for one to be able to quit smoking. 

“People who aspire to quit smoking need to create a healthy environment by starting having the desire and consult with a doctor,” said the doctor, Antaranews reported. 

Apart from that, he suggests steering away from stress, conducting routine exercises, building proper eating habits, and taking enough rest. He added that the most dangerous substance in a cigarette and the smoke is TAR, which consists of over 7,000 chemical compounds with at least 250 that are hazardous and 69 with cancer-inducing carcinogenic properties. 

According to the 2018 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) data, the number of smokers over 15 years old is 33.8 percent, with 62.9 percent of male smokers and 4.8 percent of female smokers.

“From these data and the impact of active smoking is as dangerous as being exposed or called passive smoking. It was found that the risk of exposure to disease or health problems for active and passive smokers is the same, one to one,” he explained.

Health problems that are very likely to arise for active and passive smokers are respiratory disorders, lung cancer, chronic heart disease, stroke due to constriction of brain blood vessels, and so on.

The relaxing and calming effects of smoking a cigarette are only 0.000001 percent of its positive side. However, it is basically a fulfillment of existing nicotine addiction and continues to send signals of fulfillment in the smoker’s body.

The expert believes that a holistic approach is needed to address the smoking problem by involving aspects of tradition and culture. Efforts to overcome the problem of smoking must involve all stakeholders starting from the government, society, health practitioners, academics, industries, and smokers.