31 May '13, 11am

Indonesia's health minister has tobacco industry in her sights

JAKARTA: A pack of 20 sticks costs only US$1.50 in Indonesia. Despite tax hikes in recent years, Indonesia is still one of the cheapest places in Asia to get a nicotine fix. 66 million Indonesians smoke -- nearly seven out of 10 men do. The number of women and young smokers are also increasing at worrying speed. The Indonesian government has finally decided to try to fight the addiction that is killing its citizens. Commemorating World's No Tobacco Day, Indonesia's Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said the country will finally sign the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) next year. Indeed, a fierce battle awaits the feisty health minister, who has been an anti-tobacco advocate since she was a lawmaker. As a party to the FCTC, Indonesia will have to implement tighter laws on tobacco products. It means making cigarettes more expensive to reduce demand. Cigarette...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia...

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