Regulating vape retail market can reduce smoking epidemic – Academia


Indonesia continues to struggle with a high number of smokers. It is estimated that there are approximately 60 million smokers in the country, accounting for nearly 300,000 deaths annually from smoking-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

This represents a huge burden to an already fragile healthcare system, and the economic cost of smoking to the country is estimated to range between Rp 184.36 trillion (US$11 billion) and Rp 410.76 trillion, or 1.16-2.59 percent of gross domestic product, according to a 2019 study.

Many approaches are available and have been tested in the efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, including regulatory measures as well as pharmacological and behavioral approaches aimed at improving the quit rate among smokers.

A newer approach that has been implemented successfully in many countries involves the use of alternative tobacco products (ATPs), which includes vaping as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs).

The use of vaping products, or electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), has also been rising in popularity in Indonesia. A survey by the World Health Organization in 2021 found that 3 percent of the population aged 15 years and above used e-cigarettes on a daily or non-daily basis, compared to 0.3 percent in 2011.

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While vaping products are available in Indonesia, regulations on their accessibility and use remain fragmented and inconsistent, and this reflects the situation in many other countries in the region. For example, Singapore and Thailand have imposed an outright ban on vaping products.

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