Smokers Face Higher Risk of Developing Tuberculosis: Expert


TEMPO.CO, JakartaProfessor of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (FKUI) Tjandra Yoga Aditama reminded that smokers are at greater risk of falling ill and experiencing disrupted healing of disease and even succumbing to tuberculosis (TB).

Through his electronic message, on Saturday, he cited data that showed a link to smoking habits in one in five TB patients in the world.

Data from the 2021 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) showed that around 34.5 percent of Indonesia’s population smoked or consumed various types of tobacco.

Approximately 70.2 million adults in Indonesia currently use tobacco products, in the form of tobacco snuff, heated tobacco, and chewing tobacco, either daily or occasionally.

Some 33.5 percent were smokers, one percent of the users chewed tobacco, while three percent were electronic cigarette users.

Meanwhile, based on gender, 65.5 percent of Indonesian men and 3.3 percent of women smoke or use tobacco products.

Aditama emphasized the need for integration between the TB program and the smoking program.

To this end, one of the concrete steps that should be taken is inquiring from every TB patient whether he or she has a smoking habit.

If the patient responds in the affirmative, then that individual should be immediately enrolled in smoking cessation programs at Community Health Centers (Puskesmas) and Hospitals.

“The Health Ministry is in the final process of compiling a Guide to Integration of Services to Stop Smoking and Tuberculosis in Health Service Facilities, which hopefully can be completed and implemented immediately,” he stated.

Apart from being at risk of developing TB, Aditama also reminded that smoking is a major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

He said that currently, trials had been conducted in several districts to detect COPD in smokers.

The trial was conducted using a questionnaire that was then confirmed by spirometry. Smokers are then included in a smoking cessation program.

“This stage is still in the consultation process. However, in future, certain drugs and/or devices will be used,” he said.

He noted that smoking habits were also related to stunting.

Data presented by the Deputy Head of BKKBN at the “7th Asia Pacific Summit of Mayors” on December 2, 2022, in Bali shows that children living with non-smoking parents grow 1.5 kg heavier and 0.34 cm taller than children with smoking parents.

Data also shows that stunting rates can drop to one percent in children not exposed to smoking.

Meanwhile, the habit of smoking or using tobacco during pregnancy will increase the risk of stunting in their children.

Apart from Puskesmas, he noted that people keen on quitting smoking can partake in the Quitline Program by calling the telephone number 0800-1776-565 to get guidance on stopping smoking.

Jakarta Persahabatan Hospital has also opened a smoking cessation clinic, he remarked.


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