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Indonesia, Uncategorized

Cigarettes – time to kick the habit?

smoking illustrationJakarta Post, 19 February. A journey to quit cigarettes in a tobacco-clinging city.

“If you have good motivation to stop smoking, use it,” says smoking cessation expert Tribowo Ginting. “Don’t avoid it, don’t neglect it. Just follow your heart and do it. Everybody can stop.”

According to the psychiatrist, 30 percent of people who try to stop smoking will do so by themselves, while another 70 percent need help and support.

The World Health Organization estimates that 400,000 people die as a result of tobacco use every year in Indonesia. While only 5 percent of Indonesian women smoke, 65 percent of men do and more than 97 million non-smokers are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

As a country, Indonesia is still heavily dependent on tobacco — in terms of the number of smokers and the industry’s economic impacts — despite efforts that have been made to reduce this. One of the many problems is smokers getting help to stop the habit.

For those who do want help to quit, one place to find it is at Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta, where Ginting and a colleague established a smoking cessation clinic that has been running since 2008.


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