Indonesian youth e-cigarette users increase 10 times, medical experts issue warning

Indonesian youth e-cigarette users increase 10 times, medical experts issue warning

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported on January 10 that the Indonesian Pulmonologist Association (PDPI) urgently called on the government to formulate regulations to restrict the use of e-cigarettes to prevent them from becoming a "time bomb of health problems" in the next 10 to 15 years. Professor Agus Devi Susanto, chairman of PDPI, warned that the majority of e-cigarette users in Indonesia are teenagers, and the number has increased nearly ten times since 2011.

Indonesian Ministry of Health spokesperson Sti Nadia Talmizi said that relevant regulations are currently being coordinated and regulations restricting the consumption of e-cigarettes will be included in the derivative regulations of Act No. 17 of 2023, which is planned to be completed in the near future. Nina Samidi, project manager of Indonesia's National Tobacco Control Plan, hopes that e-cigarette regulations will be similar to traditional cigarettes, including smoke-free areas, warning pictures and advertising supervision.

Professor Agus Devi Susanto pointed out that the number of e-cigarette users in Indonesia has surged, especially among teenagers. According to the 2021 Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the number of e-cigarette users aged 15 and above has increased tenfold in the past decade. He told a press conference that the number of e-cigarette users in Indonesia among teenagers aged 10-18 years increased nearly tenfold between 2016 and 2018.

On the other hand, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance will begin taxing e-cigarettes on January 1, 2024 to provide a level playing field. Ms. Nina Samidi said that the tax policy should apply to e-cigarette oil and smoking equipment, and suggested that the tax rate should be increased by at least 20% every year, in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. The goal of this tax policy is to ensure that products that are harmful to health or threaten health are taxed.

Indonesia is grappling with the health concerns posed by e-cigarettes, taking steps to limit their use and safeguard public health through tax policies.
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