Cigarettes, an object that is quite easy for us to find, and is quite widely used by various groups, from the elderly, even children. Indonesia is one of the top three countries with the highest number of smokers in the world after India and China. We all know that smoking is certainly unhealthy. However, why do so many Indonesians still smoke? How bad is smoking on us? And how should we behave about smoking? Let’s discuss it together!

Actually, what are cigarettes?

Cigarettes have various types, and the ones that are quite common for Indonesians to consume are kretek cigarettes at 80.4%, the rest, among others, consume hand-rolled cigarettes, white cigarettes, and others. Cigarettes in general consist of tobacco leaves and other substances that are inserted into the paper to form a roll.

In one cigarette, there are more than:

  • 4000 kinds of chemical compounds
  • 400 Hazardous substances
  • 43 Cancer-causing substances (carcinogenic)
  • From these things, cigarettes contain toxic substances that affect health, namely carbon monoxide (CO), nicotine, and tar.

How is the effect of opium?

When we smoke, the smoke from burnt cigarettes will enter our lungs. After that the substances from the cigarette will enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. One of the parts of the body who receive this substance is our brain. Our brains will accept nicotine, a substance that is addictive. When our brain receptors accept nicotine, the brain will release the hormone dopamine, this dopamine will give a feeling of happiness and satisfaction.

However, the problem is that when our brains are often exposed to these addictive substances, their sensitivity level will decrease over time. When the sensitivity level drops, the brain will need more nicotine intake, just to get the same level of satisfaction as before.

Therefore, many cigarette addicts will show symptoms such as:

  • Not being able to stop consuming tobacco products
  • The desire to continue smoking despite having health problems
  • Feeling that the liver is getting worse, such as worry, anxiety, depression, and others
  • Avoid a smoke-free environment

What are the harmful effects of smoking?

According to a study by the Research and Development Agency, Indonesia accounts for as many as 230,000 deaths annually. It is known that of the total cancer deaths in Indonesia, lung cancer ranks first with as much as 12.6%, and 87% of these cases are related to smoking.

In short, smoking will damage almost all organs in the body. Carbon monoxide that enters the body will replace oxygen in the blood and make the organs hungry for oxygen, this makes these organs stop functioning properly. Then there’s tar, the brown substance that blocks the tubes in the lungs.

Various kinds of health problems that will arise include:

  • Damage to the brain, stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease, damages, and blocks blood vessels
  • Diabetes, kidney failure
  • Reducing bone density, interfering with the bone recovery process, osteoporosis
  • Lowering the immune system
  • Lung disease, damaging the airways and air sacs (alveoli)
  • Oral problems, dry mouth, reduced sense of taste
  • Reproductive disorders, impotence
  • Damages the skin
  • Various kinds of cancer

Then, how do we respond?

If you’ve never smoked, great, don’t even try smoking! If you or other people you know are addicted to smoking, then things you can do are:

  • Get rid of all cigarettes you have
  • Ask for help and support from family and relatives
  • Start exercising regularly
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay away from things that can trigger the desire to return to smoking
  • Consult a doctor, as well
  • Make a target and have a reward if the target is achieved
  • Smoking only provides temporary gratification, but damages in the long run.

 By doing these things correctly and consistently, the addiction to smoking can definitely be overcome!

The almighty alone does not tempt us, lest we try ourselves!

Contributor: Ronald Matthew 6th semester student of Bachelor of Nutrition, FKM UI Reference:
Smith, A., 2020. The reasons why smoking is bad for you. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 May 2020] 2019. HTTS 2019: Jangan Biarkan Rokok Merengut Napas Kita. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed at 16 May 2020]
Gabbey, A. E., 2017. Nicotine Addiction: What You Need to Know. [online] Healthline. Available at: <> [Accessed at 16 May 2020]
Alodokter. 2018. Kecanduan Nikotin. [online] available at: <>
West R., 2017. Tobacco smoking: Health impact, prevalence, correlates and interventions. [online] Psychology & health, 32(8), 1018–1036. Available at: <> [Accessed at 16 May 2020]
Pusat Data dan Informasi Kementrian Kesehatan RI. 2018.Situasi Umum Konsumsi Tembakau di Indonesia. [online] Kementrian Kesehatan RI. Available at: <> [Accessed at 16 May 2020]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *