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Jakarta Post

Lack of awareness is a guiding policy

  • David Stanford

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 28 2008   /  10:07 am

Last week, a senior official in the Ministry of Finance made comments to the media on the government's tobacco excise policy (The Jakarta Post, Aug. 20, 2008). His comments highlighted the lack of awareness that persists in Indonesia regarding tobacco, even among the educated elite. The official explained that the government might refrain from increasing tobacco excise in the next year. He was concerned that an increase in cigarette excise "would hurt the cigarette industry and risk the jobs of its millions of workers." The official also said that "cigarettes which are harmful to human health are perhaps those that are illegal or those that high levels of nicotine. Branded cigarettes have less nicotine." The implication of this statement is that cigarettes with low levels of nicotine or those that are legally purchased are not harmful to human health. ...