A survey has found about 13 percent of first-time smokers in the country are junior high school students. It also revealed 89 percent of young female employees were smokers.
The survey was conducted in five major cities across the country, including Surakarta in Central Java.
Muhammad Syahril Mansyur, the Surakarta Health Agency’s respiratory illness division, said that the finding of the survey showed an alarming growth rate of Indonesian smokers. “This situation is a cause for concern,” he said. “It appears the country’s younger generation is uneducated about the health risks of smoking.”
The Indonesian anti-tobacco campaign has reportedly been deemed as ineffective as the government refuses to sign the international convention on tobacco control. It said that cigarette producers contributed to a large amount to state revenue and gave jobs to thousands of workers.