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Replacing a Habit of Smoking as Early as Possible with Chewing Gum

Lately, there are many reports about children who smoke in Indonesia such as the shocking toddler who even replace his milk with smoking. Indonesia with a population only about 230 million has a higher percentage of young smokers than any other country showed by higher prevalence among the adult smokers, ranks third in the world according to the number of smokers, after China and India, whose respective populations are more than one billion, according to the former head of Indonesia's Medical Association, Kartono Mohamad. Moreover based on the Indonesian Health Ministry's 2008 health profile, 29 percent of Indonesians aged 10 and above smoke an average 12 cigarettes a day. Some 10 percent started smoking at between 10 and 14 years while 0.1 percent started as young as five, according to the report, which was released in 2010. Mohamad, which is now a campaigner for the NGO called Indonesian Tobacco Control Network, also added "The epidemiology of smoking in Indonesia isn't fully established but cases that have been reported in the media indicate that the situation is serious and worrying because they aren't only confined to one region,"

This issue is very important to be concerned, because while developed country such as United States of America is starting to eliminate tobacco consumption as the number of younger Americans who smoke has been going down since the late 1990s according to the American Cancer Society, tobacco consumption is still high in Indonesia and even rise among children and youth. Children and teens are easy targets for the tobacco industry because they are more likely influenced by TV, movies, the Internet, advertising, and by their friends and environment. They dont realize the bad impact of the cigarettes and the struggle to quit smoking because it has lots of additive substances similar to drugs. The cigarettes advertisement in television and billboard in other developed countries and United States of America might be diminished because of the tobacco strict rule while in Indonesia the fact is we can still find it easily on the television and billboard. Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih as the Health Minister of Republic of Indonesia said that in a tobacco rules and regulation, the government would try to manage the ban of cigarettes advertisement, sponsor and promotion in mass media. Iswandi Morbas from Indonesian Child Protection Comission (KPAI) added his opinion that over 5 years the cigarette smokers start even younger from age

13 to 7 or 8 and he assumed that it might even start as early as toddler eventually in the future as a response toward the making of tobacco rules and regulation. According to the 2012 Surgeon Generals Report, very few people start smoking after age 25. Nearly 9 out of 10 adult smokers started by age 18; 99% started by age 26. People who start regularly using tobacco when they are younger are more likely to have trouble quitting than people who start later in life. This means if we can keep kids tobacco free until age 18, it will have a greater tendency that most of them will never start using it. However, the problem is that most children and teenagers dont understand the harm of the tobacco it self. Dimas Riyadi, a 15-year-old street child, who makes a living doing street performances for motorists at a busy intersection in the centre of the capital, Jakarta said that he followed his friends to smoke because its common thing to do in his community and he didnt have any health problems since he smoke. In the other side, neither government nor their own parents concerned to make a tobacco free environment for the children. According to Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih as the Health Minister of Republic of Indonesia, over 43 million Indonesian kids live under one roof of the active smokers that most likely are their own parents, and if they continue to become a passive smoker they will have a slow growth of their lung, easily to get bronchitis, asthma and other infection of respiratory disease such as COPD. Children also tend to follow their parents habit and itll be more problem that if they are also become an active smoker later in the future as their parents did. The government also has a problem to regulate tobacco strictly because they are considered that tobacco industries are among the established industries that have many workers who depend on it so it is hard to totally close down the business. In fact, the society and government actually have to paid off even more as the impact of the tobacco industries. The treatments related to smoking, three times more than what the state receives in cigarette taxes, said Mohamad. And also, there is no insurance for the treatment of smoking-related diseases. The 2008 government health profile showed 60 percent of deaths in Indonesia were caused by non-communicable diseases including smoking an increase from 48.5 percent in

2001. Worldwide, non-communicable diseases caused almost 60 percent of deaths and 43 percent of the disease burden a decade ago, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Based on current trends, by the year 2020 these diseases are

predicted to account for 73 percent of worldwide deaths and 60 percent of the disease burden, estimates WHO. Ive seen that not many advertisements are concerned to eliminate smoking in the society compare to the campaign of not using drugs. People still not aware of the harm of smoking because it already becomes a lifestyle that is exaggerated toward mass media. Nevertheless, cigarettes could also be as dangerous as drugs with a slower long term impact yet it contain addictive substances which quite the same for craving. My idea to solve this problem is by offering a replacement of cigarettes. The habit of smoking could be change to be more positive by chewing gum. Teenage and children who smoke might have problem and stress over their life, so they need to seek pleasure as a way to relieve their stress and burden. Or they might want to keep their mouth and hands occupied by smoking to gain their confidence among their peer as smoking already become a lifestyle and habits. So then I want to introducing a better habit and life style to chew gum as a replacement of smoking. Chewing gum have several benefits such as boost mental power by enhancing memory, reduce stress and tension by helping us more relax, contributes to weight loss by suppressing childrens craving over the snacks and it also improves oral health by protecting the teeth enamel. So chewing gum could offer what cigarettes could give while it also giving more benefits that contrary to the harm of the tobacco gave. So for the younger children I will promote that chew gum is better to occupy our mouth than smoking while for the one who already start smoking I could suggest it to slowly replace their habits. Ive heard about the Nicotine Gum as one of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) could help lowering the addiction of Nicotine in cigarettes. Because stop smoking wouldnt be that easy since nicotine as an additive substances could cause withdrawal symptoms such as craving, headache and inmsonia. NRT doesnt contain tar, poisons, or carbon monoxides like cigarettes and it is absorbed in different in our body. So I might introduce them first with Nicotine Gum and slowly reduce it and change it to the ordinary gum.