Prevalence of smoking in Indonesia is on the increase. The trend is particularly noticeable among Indonesian adolescents with smoking in early adolescents increasing from 9.5 to 17.5% from 2001 to 2010.
A recent study, published in the International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, has examined initiation of smoking by adolescents and the responses to initiation by the community.
Participants included school nurses, junior high school teachers, early adolescents, and their parents.
On analysis of the interviews several themes became apparent:
- There was an apparent ignorance of smoking dangers as well as the desire to try smoking.
- Smoking initiation risk in adolescents could emerge from friendships and peer coercion.
- There is a habit of serving cigarette in social life such as a form of hospitality. This increased availability for adolescents. The ever presence of smokers around an adolescent would stimulate and promote smoking
- Parents and teachers were firmly disapproving and offered advice to deter adolescents.
- Participants described their education on active and passive smoking dangers.
- Teenagers were asked to, or voluntarily, avoided smoking peers
- There were some teens in their early adolescence who kept smoking despite the protection against smoking initiation efforts.
- Other adolescents showed disinterest, rejection and determination to avoid addiction. They stated that smoking was portrayed as acceptable behaviour.
Overall the research highlights risk and protective factors to the initiation of smoking among adolescents as well as the different responses from members of the community.