05 Jul '11, 12am

Tobacco 'is No 2 expense for Indonesian poor'

JAKARTA - A recent Indonesian survey has found that cigarettes were among the biggest expenses for poor households, second only to rice, the Jakarta Globe reported yesterday. Mr Rusman Heriawan, head of the Central Statistics Agency, said the urban poor spent about a quarter of their income on rice and just under 8 per cent on tobacco. The figures for those living in poverty in rural areas was just under 33 per cent and 6.3 per cent on rice and cigarettes, respectively. "This is disappointing," Mr Rusman said on Sunday. "Cigarettes are not calories." The survey also showed that some families had prioritised cigarettes over sending their children to school. Mr Henny Warsilah, a sociology expert from the Indonesian Institute of Science, said the government is partly to blame. "The government encourages people to smoke by clearing the way for the tobacco industry," Mr Henny s...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110705-0000220/Tobacc...

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