Indonesia Needs to Encourage Alternative Tobacco Products Research Collaboration
The scientific studies development on alternative tobacco products in Indonesia is still too minimal. The Indonesian government is suggested to encourage research collaboration on alternative tobacco products with relevant stakeholders, including academics, government institutions, and industry players.
Researcher of the Pharmacy School of the Bandung Institute of Technology (SF-ITB), Emran Kartasmita, explained, research on alternative tobacco products is still not widely carried out in Indonesia.
As a product that applies the harm reduction concept, stakeholders should encourage more scientific studies that examine alternative tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and nicotine bags.
The research is not to encourage non-smokers to become consumers of alternative tobacco products. “Instead, it provides a lower-risk product alternative for smokers who have difficulty quitting and encourages them to switch to the product,” said Emran on Wednesday (21/9/2022).
According to Emran, the government, academics, research institutions, and business actors in the industry can collaborate to conduct scientific studies on topics relevant to alternative tobacco products. Later on, the collaboration will produce comprehensive research and it is necessary to ensure that the facts about alternative tobacco products are accessible to the public.
Emran opined, that collaborative research can also reduce negative perceptions that are contrary to the facts of scientific studies.
"The best way to address that (negative perception) is to provide comprehensive data and scientific evidence. Especially, those related to safety aspects and their impact on health,” Emran clarified.
Then, the study results need to be published in a reputable scientific journal. It aims to have scientific weight and objectivity. “Furthermore, to be easily understood by the wider community, it can be conveyed more massively through various educational activities and mass media,” Emran added.
Previously, SF-ITB had conducted a scientific literature review entitled “Risk Assessment of Tobacco Heated System (THS) Products Based on Data and Literature Review.”
This study was conducted on heated tobacco products based on a standard method conducted around the world to calculate the estimated level of risk. Based on the SF-ITB study results, heated tobacco products have a lower health risk profile compared to cigarettes.
In the study process, SF-ITB refers to world institutions such as WHO (World Health Organization), IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and US-EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Editor: Ferry Hidayat