According to data by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2011 approximately five million lives were lost to cigarette-related complications. If this continues, by 2020 the number of deaths will increase to eight million or 70% in developing countries (Department of Health, 2009).
The nicotine content in tobacco plants used as the main ingredient of cigarettes can cause addiction and other dangerous diseases to its users. To address this problem, a team of Student Creativity Program (PKM) of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta who calls themselves TEMBAK NENG VETI provided an alternative solution by creating nicotine-free tobacco by using approach grafting.
The team is made up of three students of UMY’s Agrotechnology Department of 2017, namely Nur Rokhim, Fetty Nur Cahyati Wulandari, and Izaz Hadaya Amajid. They claim that their findings can help reduce the negative effects of cigarette usage on its users (active smokers) and others (passive smokers). “Cigarettes continue to be a serious threat to the public, regardless of age groups. Nicotine, which is the main cause for addiction to its users, can trigger other complications.” Stated Rokhim, the head of the group during an interview in the Office of Human Resources and Protocol (BHP) UMY on Wednesday (31/7).
“Because regulating cigarettes is difficult, one alternative that can be done to reduce its dangers is by creating nicotine-free tobacco,” he added.
Rokhim explained that the nicotine in tobacco is synthesized in the plant’s roots, which is then transported to the leaves and other parts of the plant. So, to create nicotine-free tobacco, this transfer needs to be halted. This can be done by cutting the roots and replacing it with a substitute that cannot synthesize nicotine. To that end, the approach grafting method is used to increase vegetative growth and produce nicotine-free tobacco.
Menurut Fetty salah satu anggota kelompok, metode perbanyakan vegetatif sambung susu, memiliki peluang keberhasilan yang cukup tinggi dibandingkan dengan metode lainnya. Pasalnya ketika proses penyambungan kedua tanaman yang disambung masih mendapatkan suplai hara dari masing-masing tanaman, jadi kegagalan yang diakibatkan oleh kekurangan nutrisi pasca sambung dapat diminimalisir. Dan dengan adanya terobosan ini diharapkan mampu menciptakan masyarakat yang sehat. “Semoga dengan adanya penelitian ini, dampak buruk dari rokok dapat diminimalisir sehingga akan tercipta masyarakat yang sehat.” Pungkasnya. (Hbb)
According to Fetty, the approach grafting method had the highest success rate compared to other methods. During the conjoining process, the two plants that are to be conjoined still receive nutrition, so failures caused by the lack of nutrition afther the conjoining process can be minimalized. She also hopes that this breakthrough can lead to a healthier public. “I hope that through this research, the negative effects of cigarettes can be minimized and lead to a healthier public.” She said. (Hbb)