TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

All ASEAN countries but Indonesia ban cigarette advertising

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 25, 2017   /   07:37 pm
All ASEAN countries but Indonesia ban cigarette advertising Workers complete the manufacturing process of hand-rolled cigarettes in Kudus, Central Java. (Antara/Yusuf Nugroho)

Indonesia is the only ASEAN member country that has not yet totally banned tobacco companies from advertising their products in print media, television, radio and movies, putting young people at high exposure to cigarette advertisements, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) claims.

“More than a half of Southeast Asian countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, have also totally banned cigarette advertisements in sellers’ premises," SEATCA executive director Bungon Ritthiphakdee said as quoted by Antara in a statement on Tuesday.

Banning cigarette advertising is one of the control measures SEATCA has called for to prevent the negative health impacts of cigarette consumption.

Tobacco tax and customs in Southeast Asian countries have gradually increased, even though the selling price of cigarettes in several countries is still cheap, below US$1 per pack, Ritthiphakdee said.

All Southeast Asian countries have put health warning labels on cigarette packs as well. Thailand, for example, has started to implement plain cigarette packaging and the packs are sold in a closed rack. Only adults may buy cigarettes after presenting their identity cards. Kiosks near schools, hospitals and public facilities are prohibited from selling cigarettes.

In Indonesia, however, cigarette selling is more liberal and tobacco products can be found anywhere, including near schools and hospitals, Ritthiphakdee said.

“Some kiosks also have children as shopkeepers, while young people should in fact be protected from the negative effect of cigarette-smoke exposure.”

In Southeast Asia, tobacco kills at least 500,000 people per year. Half of adult men in the region are smokers, accounting for 10 percent of the total smokers in the world, Ritthiphakdee said. (afr/ebf)