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Jakarta Post

Govt should increase the tax on tobacco

  • David Stanford

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 2 2008   /  10:53 am

Indonesia is addicted to smoking. Cigarette advertisements dot the skyline and clog the airwaves. If you go to a concert or a sporting event, it is likely that the cost of your ticket will be subsidized by a tobacco company. Over 63 percent of Indonesian men over the age of 15 are smokers. Almost 5 percent of the world's smokers come from Indonesia even though Indonesia's population makes up only 3.5 percent of the global total. In 2005, it was estimated that Indonesians consumed nearly 200 billion cigarettes. In short, the tobacco industry is pervasive and tobacco consumption has reached epidemic proportions. Despite clear evidence that high levels of smoking are a burden on a society's health and well being, the Indonesian government has failed to take any meaningful action to address the smoking epidemic and its associated problems. Indonesia is the only country...