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Jakarta Post

Letter: Stop tobacco promotions

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 17 2009   /  02:05 pm

I wish to respond to comments made by the Corporate Affairs Director of PT HM Sampoerna (The Jakarta Post, Feb. 7, p. 7) that his company supports the comprehensive regulation of the tobacco industry in Indonesia. This comment is laughable. Indonesia, the fifth largest cigarette market in the world, is a cigarette cash cow as over 60 percent of its adult male population smokes. Sampoerna currently has the largest market share and delivers handsome profits to its owners, Philip Morris International. Nowhere else in Asia does Philip Morris still enjoy such marketing freedom as it does in Indonesia, where it advertises on lamp posts, bus stops, gigantic billboards, TV and sponsors rock concerts. In Indonesia, the poor spend more money on cigarettes than on health and education combined. In a country with widespread poverty, this translates to about 50 million smokers spendin...