The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) revealed on Tuesday that the pictorial health warning on more than half of the tobacco product packages it surveyed were covered by excise bands.
"We suspect that the covering was done intentionally to blur the warning on health damage caused by smoking," said Tulus Abadi of the YLKI at the launch of the survey of pictorial health warning implementation on Tuesday.
Government Regulation (PP) No. 109/2012 on tobacco control stipulates that cigarette packages circulating on the market must bear a pictorial warning that must not be covered by anything, including excise bands.
The survey, conducted from February to March, took samples of tobacco products, including products from PT Philip Morris International (PMI), PT British American Tobacco (BAT)-Bentoel, PT Gudang Garam, PT Djarum as well as Minak Djinggo and Lodji.
PT BAT had the lowest compliance with the regulation as all of the pictorial warnings on the sampled products were covered by excise bands, while PT Djarum and PT Gudang Garam were more compliant with 41 and 50 percent respectively. Local brands led in compliance with 65 percent.
Tulus urged the Finance Ministry to issue a slimmer excise band and a regulation on the placement of the band. (fsu)(+++)
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