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More than 64 million people smoke cigarettes here, and 460,000 are children
2019-12-04     Carlos

More than 64 million people smoke cigarettes here, and 460,000 are children!who is the winner by banning e-cigarettes in Indonesia?

Even though the US Centers for Disease Control and Administration (CDC) issued a statement saying that the main cause of e-cigarette lung disease may be related to the "vitamin E acetate" added to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) e-liquid, cases of lung disease have long caused countries Regulators are overly panicking about e-cigarettes.


Some time ago, National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) from Indonesia submitted a proposal that made practitioners very dissatisfied, aiming to modify existing regulations and promote the country to ban the use of atomized products such as e-cigarettes.


In fact, starting from 2017, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade Department has required that e-cigarette products must be authorized by the country's BPOM and the Ministry of Health before they can be put on the market. And in October last year, the Indonesian financial department raised the tax rate of atomized e-liquid to 57% to make up for the government's revenue from tobacco taxation.


The industry collectively appealed to the government, hoping not to continue the bill amendment. The industry believes that from the initial safety regulation to the subsequent market control and taxation, if this proposed amendment is continued, it will eventually destroy the huge public health benefits that e-cigarettes may bring. This not only seized the right to survive of the local e-cigarette industry, but also stifled the choice of traditional Indonesian smokers.


Current status of Indonesia's smoking population

Indonesia is the second largest cigarette market in the world, and Indonesian authorities have not carried out tobacco control operations on traditional tobacco. In Indonesia, the use of tobacco products by adolescents is not only normal, but even the average smoking age of adults is generally low. It is a major disaster area with public health problems.

The total population of Indonesia is about 264 million people. The young population (age 13 to 17) accounts for 23.4 million people (9%), and the economically productive population (age 30 to 69) accounts for 117.3 million people (44%). According to public information on the Internet, more than 460,000 children (aged 10 to 14) and approximately 64.02 million adults (aged 15 and above) continue to smoke every day.


In other words, more than a quarter of Indonesians are traditional smokers.


For the development of e-cigarette companies, countries and regions with more smoking populations are more suitable for e-cigarette development. The potential customer base of e-cigarettes is smokers. As long as the base of smokers is large, there is more room for market growth for e-cigarettes.


According to the "E-CIGARETTE & TOBACCO MARKET IN INDONESIA" report, most smokers in Indonesia have been smoking since they were young, and the average age at which they started smoking is 17 years, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in young people.


The report shows that the rate of smoking among Indonesian male adults (over 15 years) is 66.6%, and the rate of smoking among boys (10 to 14 years) is 3.51%, which is higher than the average level of the intermediate human development index countries; Indonesian women smoking (over 15 years) The rate is 2.1%, the rate of smoking among girls (10 to 14 years) is 0.39%, and the rate of smoking among Indonesian women is lower than the index level. Despite this, it still represents more than 1.95 million Indonesian women smoking every day.


However, according to Honestdocs survey data, e-cigarettes are still not an effective substitute for tobacco products in Indonesia. The survey found that approximately 43% of respondents preferred cigarettes to electronic cigarettes (22%). At the same time, as many as 35% of the respondents are dual users. Unlike tobacco, most e-cigarette users are adult women (26%) rather than men (18%).


The related information also revealed similar information. Although Indonesia has active e-cigarette users and even groups, Indonesia has a small proportion of the local smoking population. It is understood that the total number of long-term e-cigarette users in Indonesia is about 1 million. According to the comparison of the Honestdocs survey and the Indonesian population data survey, the number of e-cigarette users accounts for 0.64% of the total number of smokers.


In other words, in fact, Indonesia has serious public health problems. Not only is the number of smokers too high, but education on the dangers of tobacco needs to be strengthened. On the other hand, most smokers lack awareness of harm reduction by using new tobacco products. And because Indonesia's e-cigarette market is still in its infancy, it has the opportunity to develop into a huge new tobacco market in the future.



Law revision still in progress in Indonesia


According to Medicalxpress, although there is no study on adolescent nicotine addiction, the Indonesian government is shocked by the death lung disease reported in the United States. Relevant sources believe that Indonesian authorities should take immediate action to prevent the spread of e-cigarette products among young people.


BPOM Chairman Penny Lukito cited the harmful substances contained in different reports, stressing that e-cigarettes and aerosolized products are obviously harmful to consumers' health, and she also denied the statement conveyed by Asosiasi Personal Vaporizer Indonesia

(APVI) ─ That is, electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.


Anung Sugihantono, director general of the Indonesian Disease Prevention and Control Agency (P2P), said the Indonesian government is working to modify existing e-cigarette regulations. He revealed in a text message this week that the Foreign Ministry maintains a consistent position: We want to ban, not restrict, e-cigarettes.


Relevant units are currently revising the Indonesian Tobacco Law, and the legal basis is from the revised government regulation 1 PP 109 (109/2012) "Addiction Substances Act". The Ministry of Health said, "So far, there are no specific regulations on the use of e-cigarettes or other new tobaccos. Without amendments, we cannot control and prohibit new tobaccos from entering the consumer market."


Dondit of Indonesia's Vape Fair Indonesia told the us that he is not worried about the recent news released by the Ministry of Health because Indonesia is already a legal market. "Indonesia's e-cigarette market has been developing for some time, and the industry is required to pay taxes and is a legitimate business, so I don't think that e-cigarettes will be completely banned by amending the law."


Henry Najoan, chairman of (GAPRI), hopes the government will not continue to amend the bill. He said that current regulations are still very relevant to effective implementation. "We are in an increasingly heavy industry. According to Announcements No. 24 of 2008 and No. 6 of 2009, it is a legitimate product business that should be protected by current laws. Tobacco is regulated by more than 200 regulations, which is not only industry-intensive but also maintains With tens of thousands of household livelihoods, revisions should not continue for industry sustainability. "


Najoan also regrets the attitude of BPOM, because the Ministry of Health has never discussed the amendments to the bill with the industry. At each stage of its formulation, each form of regulation must have an open and transparent negotiation process and be equipped with an analysis of the impact of these regulations.



On the other hand, the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia proposed to increase the cigarette tax rate in 2018 to achieve the goal of national tax support for the national budget. Subsequently, the Indonesian government agreed to increase the cigarette consumption tax by 23% and the retail price of cigarettes by 35% in 2020. In other words, if the Indonesian government does not complete the amendment of Law 109/2012 by next year, then the Indonesian e-cigarette market may benefit from the increase in tobacco tax.


Prohibition is not the solution

Due to the outbreak of mysterious lung disease in the United States, the problem of electronic cigarettes has gradually surfaced. In Indonesia, in addition to public health-related regulatory authorities' actions, e-cigarette practitioners, associations and related interest organizations have also begun to propose effective solutions for e-cigarette regulation.


In the middle of last month, the Indonesian e-cigarette industry held the Indonesia e-cigarette summit 2019, and the main focus of the summit was that the e-cigarette ban and its negative news may lead to rising traditional tobacco sales and increase Indonesia's traditional smokers. .


"The nebulizing disease in the United States is indeed worrying. But this seems to be related to e-cigarettes that abuse illicit drugs. So far, no similar situation has occurred in England." Indonesian e-cigarette industry jelas Arnott said at the conference.


Tikki Elka Pangestu, a senior researcher from Indonesia and the first spokesman for the 2019 London Electronic Cigarette Summit, said that atomization is a relatively new method, and scientific evidence has proven that atomization is less dangerous than burning cigarettes Much more, other evidence can help those who want to quit smoking.


"As a researcher, I have seen strong evidence from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries that e-cigarettes are 95% less dangerous than burning cigarettes and can help those who want to quit smoking. If the evidence is sufficient, why not make this What about products for those who want to quit smoking? "Said Professor Lee Kuan Yew, School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.


Pangestu said that, as a scientist, he has provided strong scientific evidence related to atomization safety to Indonesian stakeholders. However, his efforts did not receive a positive response from the government. "Everything that should help reduce the risk of smoking should be taken into account. Unfortunately, however, Indonesia is still in opposition to e-cigarettes."


At present, many public health professionals have proposed amendments to BPOM, and the new forces have also searched for some relevant information, as follows:


Firstly, the government should control the safety and quality standards of e-cigarettes, including the composition of e-liquid, etc.


Although the tax rate for electronically atomized liquids is as high as 57%, this policy does not apply to pre-filled cartridges in Juul products. It is unclear how to regulate Juul in Indonesia under existing policies. The Ministry of Finance should periodically adjust the inflation tax rate so that children cannot afford the price of e-cigarette products. Similarly, there should be a single consumption tax that includes all types of e-liquids, regardless of the type of cartridge. BPOM should also establish safety and quality standards for e-cigarettes and continuously monitor products.


Secondly, restriction for the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers and non-smokers.

The government can prevent non-smokers or young customers from buying e-cigarette equipment by restricting sales outlets such as kiosks and convenience stores, banning flavored e-cigarettes, regulating the promotion of e-cigarettes, and establishing screening systems. In addition, the government should stop spreading misleading and unscientific publicity, such as e-cigarettes can help quit smoking.


Third, smoking is prohibited in non-smoking areas


Indonesia's first-level authority in each region can extend the current laws on smoking-free public places to e-cigarette users.


Fourth, launch a public education campaign on the disclosure of e-cigarette risks

The campaign may start at school. Teachers can play an important role in educating students and parents about the risk of fogging. The programme can also include health professionals.


At present, the biggest development risk of the Indonesian e-cigarette market is the amendment of the bill. If the bill moves from prohibition to restriction, then the Indonesian e-cigarette market is likely to usher in an opportunity for growth next year. However, if the bill still insists on banning, not only are e-cigarette users likely to return to traditional tobacco products, on the one hand, the growth trend of the global e-cigarette market will also be affected.


Nowadays, many global e-cigarette brands have entered the Indonesian market. More popular equipment brands include Teslacigs, Eleaf, VGOD, Vapor Storm, Wismec, Smart Vape, Smoant, Kamry and Suorin; e-liquid brands include Fruit Monster, Adam (locally produced), Manhattan Series, Tobacco Ridge, Five Pawn and Trimasketir.


As for heat-not- burn product, it is almost the world of IQOS.


In general, I hope that the Indonesian government can move towards a market of continuous compliance instead of choosing to e-cigarettes across the board. Millions of smokers in Indonesia die each year from tobacco diseases. Most of these people belong to the economically productive population. If e-cigarettes are banned and tobacco taxes are only relied on to curb tobacco product development, perhaps the next problem facing the Ministry of Health is not tobacco control. It is a serious black market problem caused by the unexpected decline in economic production and the increase in taxes.