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Economy
Wednesday, 22-November-2006
ASIA- - The Indonesian parliament is drafting a bill to ban most forms of public advertising by tobacco companies.

The bill would also increase excise duties 65 per cent and prohibit under-18s from smoking.

It is sponsored by 220 legislators, but is expected to face strong opposition from Indonesia’s powerful tobacco lobby.

Cigarette manufacturers are currently free to advertise in all media and regularly sponsor sports events and concerts.

The bill would ban all forms of public advertising, except at cigarette booths and stalls.

The tobacco industry employs five million workers, with an estimated 20 million more thought to have jobs indirectly related to the industry.

Philip Morris International last year bought a 40 per cent share in Indonesia’s third-largest cigarette producer Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna.

The Central Statistics Agency reported that smokers under the age of 10 jumped from 3 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 28 per 1,000 in 2003.

Up to 70 per cent of male Indonesians are estimated to smoke and women are increasingly picking up the practice.

Nearly 90 per cent of Indonesian smokers choose locally-produced cigarettes known as kreteks, which are usually two-thirds tobacco and one-third cloves, but standard cigarettes, known locally as "whites", are gaining in popularity.

Source: Aljazeera.net

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