The price of cigarettes in Indonesia is low. Take Marlboro for comparison, the price is cheaper than that in other ASEAN countries. The price of cigarettes in Singapore in 2007 was US$7.47 while in Indonesia it was less than US$0.91. "Similarly in Malaysia it was US$2.18 and Thailand US$1.79," Dr. Yayi Suryo Prabandari said on Wednesday (18/5) giving testimony on the issue of Health in Indonesia in front of dozens of US news media editors who were visiting Faculty of Medicine Universitas Gadjah Mada.
This condition, according to Yayi, is quite frightening because with cheap price, easy purchase and no limiting rules, the consumption of cigarettes in Indonesia tends to increase. Even people with low education and teenagers are in vulnerable position which needs serious attention. The data shows that 67% of men not in school or not graduating from elementary school are active smokers. The rest, 47.8%, are active smokers from college graduates.
In the panel discussion, Yayi said that active smokers have implicated the young people, especially students. Getting cigarettes easily is seen as one of the factors triggering the increase in the smoking habit among students. "Wherever, whenever they can get cigarettes. In small shops, these students can easily buy cigarettes without having to go to the supermarket," she said.