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Indonesia may ban cigarette advertisements from TV, radio

The government may completely ban tobacco companies from advertising their products on television and radio in the future, according to a tobacco watchdog.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/01/12/indonesia-may-ban-cigarette-advertisements-from-tv-radio.html

The National Commission on Tobacco Control (Komnas PT) said on Thursday that the latest draft of the broadcasting bill stipulated that the content of a broadcast advertisement was prohibited from promoting alcohol, cigarettes, and other addictive products. The bill is a revision of Law No. 32/2002 on broadcasting.

“The banning of [tobacco] advertisements, promotion and sponsorship in the bill is a policy by the House of Representative that is progressive and conforms to the Health Law and several Constitutional Court rulings,” Komnas PT law and advocate department member Muhamad Joni said.

Joni pointed out that the latest draft of the bill indicated the country was showing progress in tobacco control efforts as previous drafts did not contain such stipulations.

“The House has proven to be in favor of tobacco control and the public’s protection. Therefore, the bill must be secured in its deliberation process until it is passed,” Joni said. (dan)

Hiking tobacco excise alone won’t reduce smoking: Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry doubts that the increase in tobacco excise can reduce the prevalence of smoking in the country, arguing that the regulation needs to be combined with non-fiscal policy to make it more effective.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/12/20/hiking-tobacco-excise-alone-wont-reduce-smoking-finance-ministry.html

Suahasil Nazara, the ministry’s fiscal policy office (BKF) head, said besides gradually increasing excise tax, educating people about the negative impact of smoking and preventing youths from purchasing tobacco products also were equally important.

“I don’t believe that increasing excise tax will reduce the prevalence of smoking. We need to use a combination of fiscal and non-fiscal policies,” he said in a discussion on cigarettes at Hotel Borobudur in Central Jakarta.

In eight years, the number of tobacco factories had gone down from 4,669 in 2007 to 714 in 2015, which reflected the recent decline in cigarette production. The fact implied that production had decreased in line with market forces, he said.

The government’s argument was slammed by Hasbullah Thabrany, a professor of public health at the University of Indonesia’s School of Public Health, who said the reason behind the declining number of tobacco companies was because many small companies—mostly hand-rolled cigarettes—were unable to compete with big firms.

The Finance Ministry announced in October that it had issued a regulation to increase excise taxes by an average of 10.54 percent next year for several types of cigarettes. The price increase was lower than the target set by the government this year of 11.33 percent. (win/evi)

WITH MIXED PROGRESS, NATIONS REVIEW WAR VS. TOBACCO INDUSTRY

http://macaudailytimes.com.mo/mixed-progress-nations-review-war-vs-tobacco-industry.html

In Nepal, health warnings cover 90 percent of cigarette packs, while Australia requires those packets be wrapped in drab, plain paper. Indonesia’s new ban on outdoor advertising brought down tobacco billboards depicting smiling, smoking youths. And India wants scary photos of rotting lungs and mouth tumors covering packets sold in the country.

Still, national drives to discourage smoking and cut back tobacco sales haven’t done enough, campaigners say. Smoking-related deaths are still rising worldwide, with 80 percent of them expected to occur in developing country populations by 2030.

“Most people in the United States think tobacco is over and done with, but it’s still the largest preventable cause of disease on the planet” killing 6 million people a year — or one person every six seconds, said John Stewart, deputy campaigns director at the Boston-based lobbying group Corporate Accountability International.

Starting Monday, representatives from at least 178 countries are meeting for five days in the Indian capital to discuss how they can further the fight against smoking and push back against tobacco company lobbyists.

Since they set down stiff regulations and guidelines in a landmark 2003 treaty called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — the first and only global treaty dealing with public health — most of the 180 signatories have ratified it and passed laws restricting tobacco advertising or sales.

Still, many governments remain entangled with powerful tobacco companies, while industry lobbyists continue attempts to stymie efforts to implement anti-smoking laws through bribery, misinformation and even suing national governments for lost profits, campaigners say.

“The tobacco industry is definitely feeling the heat,” Stewart said. “They’ve got their back against the wall.”

Indian courts are currently grappling with 62 lawsuits filed by tobacco companies or cigarette makers challenging laws requiring that 85 percent of all cigarette packets be covered with photos of medical horrors.

In Japan, a 10-percent hike in taxes on cigarettes has led to a 30-percent decline in smoking. But the country still has some of the lowest tax rates on cigarettes among industrialized nations, while its finance ministry owns 33 percent in Japan Tobacco.

The anti-tobacco campaign has had some success. It is widely accepted, at least among national leaders, that smoking causes cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, along with a host of other harmful health impacts.

That awareness still has not trickled down to national populations, though. And campaigners say tobacco interests have shifted their focus to poorer, less educated populations in the developing world.

India — among the first to ratify the anti-tobacco treaty in 2004 — is still considered one of the biggest battlegrounds in the fight against the tobacco industry, public health specialists say.

Despite harsh laws passed more than a decade ago banning smoking in public and sales to children, smoking is still common across the country. A government survey in 2010 showed nearly 35 percent of adults were either smoking or chewing tobacco.

Meanwhile, more than 1 million Indians die each year from tobacco-related diseases that cost the country some $16 billion annually, according to the World Health Organization.

“The revenues that the government earns from tobacco taxes are far less than the billions that are spent on health care,” said Bhavna Mukhopadhyay of the Voluntary Health Association of India, a public health organization.

“Public health and the health of the tobacco industry cannot go hand in hand,” she said, noting that campaigners are now pushing for countries to make tobacco companies and their shareholders civilly and criminally liable for the harm done by tobacco.

Part of the trouble in India is “the Indian consumer is spoilt for choice,” she said, with cigarettes sold alongside chewing tobacco and cheap, hand-rolled smokes known as bidis.

The easy availability and wide choice means many smokers get hooked at a young age. Some are initiated early through the common, cultural practice of chewing something called gutka, which combines tobacco with spices, lime and betel nut and is widely sold as a mouth freshener.

Putting pictorial warnings on cigarette packets is an attempt to educate people about the risks.

“The idea was that even an illiterate person, or a child, would understand the message about the health risks from smoking,” said Monika Arora of the Public Health Foundation of India, who runs an anti-smoking campaign aimed at young Indians. Nirmala George, New Delhi, AP

Indonesia antsy over WTO’s expected tobacco ruling in 2017

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/11/12/indonesia-antsy-over-wtos-expected-tobacco-ruling-in-2017.html

The Indonesian government and tobacco farmers are waiting anxiously for the result of a dispute settlement against Australia’s plain tobacco packaging policy that they expect will come out in 2017, more than three years after the government submitted a request for consultations with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Trade Ministry’s director general for foreign trade negotiations, Iman Pambagyo, said he hoped that the settlement result would be in favor of tobacco-producing countries.

“We expect WTO panelists to announce the result in the first quarter of 2017. We still think that the policy violates the trade rules,” he said.

He added that while Indonesia fully supported the objectives of improving public health and protecting the environment, it was the country’s right to defend its economy against regulations that violated international trade rules, disciplines and obligations.

According to the WTO, on Sept. 20, 2013, Indonesia requested consultations with Australia concerning certain Australian laws and regulations that impose restrictions on trademarks, geographical indications and other plain packaging requirements on tobacco products and packaging.

The move came nearly a year after Australia became the first country that obliges all cigarettes sold in its jurisdiction to be wrapped in dark brown packaging in December 2012.

The Australian government found that it was the least attractive color, particularly for young people.

The policy went into force along with a tax increase to realize the country’s plan to bring down smoking rates from 16.6 percent in 2007 to less than 10 percent in 2018.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics claims that smoking rates decreased to 12.8 percent a year after the policy took effect, compared to 15.1 percent in 2010.

Australia’s move has been copied by the UK and France, which regulate that all cigarette packages manufactured for those countries must be in plain form.

Singapore considered a similar provision last year as well, but dropped the idea after encountering some technical difficulties.

After Indonesia submitted its consultation request to the WTO, several other countries and blocs requested to join the consultations, namely Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the European Union.

The Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association (APTI) told The Jakarta Post that although Australia was not the main buyer of Indonesian tobacco, more countries would apply similar policies.

“The policy’s provision will decrease our tobacco exports as antitobacco movements have emerged in other countries,” APTI head Wisnu Brata said.

Djarum, Sampoerna and Gudang Garam are among the companies whose cigarette brands are available in Australia.

Data from the Industry Ministry show that some 6 million people are involved in tobacco farms and businesses across the country. Many of them are export-oriented, such as in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Java and Central Java.

The value of tobacco exports reached US$981 billion in 2015 and $1.02 trillion in 2014. (adt)

With mixed progress, nations review war vs. tobacco industry

http://elkodaily.com/business/with-mixed-progress-nations-review-war-vs-tobacco-industry/article_be11c60f-d418-562d-83ab-d5dcf0a5c0c1.html

In Nepal, health warnings cover 90 percent of cigarette packs, while Australia requires those packets be wrapped in drab, plain paper. Indonesia’s new ban on outdoor advertising brought down tobacco billboards depicting smiling, smoking youths. And India wants scary photos of rotting lungs and mouth tumors covering packets sold in the country.

Still, national drives to discourage smoking and cut back tobacco sales haven’t done enough, campaigners say. Smoking-related deaths are still rising worldwide, with 80 percent of them expected to occur in developing country populations by 2030.

“Most people in the United States think tobacco is over and done with, but it’s still the largest preventable cause of disease on the planet” killing 6 million people a year — or one person every six seconds, said John Stewart, deputy campaigns director at the Boston-based lobbying group Corporate Accountability International.

Starting Monday, representatives from at least 178 countries are meeting for five days in the Indian capital to discuss how they can further the fight against smoking and push back against tobacco company lobbyists.

Since they set down stiff regulations and guidelines in a landmark 2003 treaty called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — the first and only global treaty dealing with public health — most of the 180 signatories have ratified it and passed laws restricting tobacco advertising or sales.

Still, many governments remain entangled with powerful tobacco companies, while industry lobbyists continue attempts to stymie efforts to implement anti-smoking laws through bribery, misinformation and even suing national governments for lost profits, campaigners say.

“The tobacco industry is definitely feeling the heat,” Stewart said. “They’ve got their back against the wall.”

Indian courts are currently grappling with 62 lawsuits filed by tobacco companies or cigarette makers challenging laws requiring that 85 percent of all cigarette packets be covered with photos of medical horrors.

In Japan, a 10-percent hike in taxes on cigarettes has led to a 30-percent decline in smoking. But the country still has some of the lowest tax rates on cigarettes among industrialized nations, while its finance ministry owns 33 percent in Japan Tobacco.

The anti-tobacco campaign has had some success. It is widely accepted, at least among national leaders, that smoking causes cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, along with a host of other harmful health impacts.

That awareness still has not trickled down to national populations, though. And campaigners say tobacco interests have shifted their focus to poorer, less educated populations in the developing world.

India — among the first to ratify the anti-tobacco treaty in 2004 — is still considered one of the biggest battlegrounds in the fight against the tobacco industry, public health specialists say.

Despite harsh laws passed more than a decade ago banning smoking in public and sales to children, smoking is still common across the country. A government survey in 2010 showed nearly 35 percent of adults were either smoking or chewing tobacco.

Meanwhile, more than 1 million Indians die each year from tobacco-related diseases that cost the country some $16 billion annually, according to the World Health Organization.

“The revenues that the government earns from tobacco taxes are far less than the billions that are spent on health care,” said Bhavna Mukhopadhyay of the Voluntary Health Association of India, a public health organization.

“Public health and the health of the tobacco industry cannot go hand in hand,” she said, noting that campaigners are now pushing for countries to make tobacco companies and their shareholders civilly and criminally liable for the harm done by tobacco.

Part of the trouble in India is “the Indian consumer is spoilt for choice,” she said, with cigarettes sold alongside chewing tobacco and cheap, hand-rolled smokes known as bidis.

The easy availability and wide choice means many smokers get hooked at a young age. Some are initiated early through the common, cultural practice of chewing something called gutka, which combines tobacco with spices, lime and betel nut and is widely sold as a mouth freshener.

Putting pictorial warnings on cigarette packets is an attempt to educate people about the risks.

“The idea was that even an illiterate person, or a child, would understand the message about the health risks from smoking,” said Monika Arora of the Public Health Foundation of India, who runs an anti-smoking campaign aimed at young Indians.

Child labor on Indonesia’s tobacco farms

July Eping is one of many children in Indonesia who work with tobacco. It’s dangerous and illegal work. But their families are poor, and everyone has to help with the harvesting, drying and sorting.

http://www.dw.com/en/child-labor-on-indonesias-tobacco-farms/av-36271535

http://dw.com/p/2SBsl

Commentary: E-cigarettes, Effective Smoke Cessation Tools Together With Willpower, Support

http://jakartaglobe.id/opinion/commentary-e-cigarettes-effective-smoke-cessation-tools-together-willpower-support/

There is widespread debate about promoting the use of e-cigarettes and whether they can be endorsed as an effective cessation tool. On one side, there are those who say that e-cigarettes just increase nicotine intake as they are readily available to the general public. A person who vapes is more likely to consume larger amounts of nicotine as it is sourced from two sides: e-cigarettes and regular tobacco cigarettes. Hence, e-cigarettes do not help people quit smoking, but on the contrary, encourage them to increase nicotine consumption and feed their addiction.

On the other side of the debate is the belief that nicotine addiction is a habit that can be kicked through the use of e-cigarettes. Vaping and e-cigarettes are nicotine replacement therapies that can help in reducing or even eliminating tobacco smoking habit entirely. Smokers are not idiots, they know the dangerous effects of smoking on their health and to others. However, nicotine is a substance that they need or perceive to want, because it keeps alertness levels high, relaxes and stimulates the body and creates pleasure.

E-cigarettes satisfy these cravings from delivery of nicotine to the physical activity of holding something in the hands.

However, it should be noted that e-cigarettes and vaping alone will not eliminate tobacco smoking for good. An important factor that plays a significant role is willpower. Thus, tobacco smokers should want to get rid of the habit as without it, no amount of nicotine replacement therapies will help without the voluntary desire and willpower to abandon the vice completely.

Another vital component when giving up smoking is social, family or group support to make the smooth transition from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day to reducing it to half and eventually, zero intake. When withdrawal symptoms kick in, it is imperative that social support is in place to help the user get through a difficult and often traumatic experience of quitting.

To conclude, the use of e-cigarettes as an effective smoke cessation tool should not be discounted. It is less harmful to smokers, others and the environment. If combined with the burning desire/willpower to quit and proper support, it has a tremendous potential to help tobacco smokers quit for good and in the process save lives as well as reduce burden on the health-care system.

Emma Mills is a writer with a passion for good, healthy living and exercise. She can be reached at emma@palletmail.net.

HALF-HEARTED TOBACCO CONTROL

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/10/04/half-hearted-tobacco-control.html

With the current government aiming high on health development, its decision to raise cigarette excise by an average of 10.54 percent starting next year shows otherwise. The incremental increase affirms the government’s lackluster effort to build a healthy nation to say the least.

When the Finance Ministry regulation takes effect in January, cigarette retail prices will only go up by 12.26 percent from the current price. History beckons that excise rate hikes on cigarettes have so far failed to force smokers to quit the habit.

Many of them did not even reduce their cigarette consumption either. That happened because the cigarette retail price remained affordable for everybody, including teenagers who relied on pocket money from their parents to indulge their smoking habit.

We could have expected a far different story had the government taken a bold move by setting an extremely high duty that would double or triple the cigarette retail price. The considerably low cigarette prices is one of the reasons why the smoking population in the country keeps growing.

The latest UN Office of Drugs and Crime data found that Indonesia’s average cigarette price of US$1.32 per pack is among the cheapest in the world. In Southeast Asia, Indonesian cigarette prices are only more expensive than in fellow developing countries Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

In developed countries, apart from enforcement of regulations and legislation discriminatory against smokers, retail cigarette prices are set very high so as to deter people from smoking.

A few months ago, a study conducted by a University of Indonesia medical doctor sent shockwaves after finding that the majority of 1,000 respondents he surveyed said they would consider giving up smoking if pack of cigarettes increased to Rp 50,000 (US$3.80).

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) has found that 70 percent of Indonesian smokers come from the poor families. It can be safely said had the government taken the survey into consideration in setting the new cigarette excise, the country’s population of smokers would likely dramatically decrease.

There is a risk, however, of rampant trade of illegal cigarettes if the excise is set too high. But it will boil down to the government’s commitment to improve monitoring. The Trade Ministry and Industry Ministry will contribute a lot in fighting illegal trade in cigarettes through registration of all cigarette machines operating in the country.

Various studies have discovered that the costs of treating tobacco-related diseases, not to mention production loss, outweigh state revenue from cigarette excise. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2014 revealed that cigarette consumption killed 190,260 people in Indonesia that year, or 500 lives lost every day. The number would skyrocket if it includes passive smokers, who are more vulnerable to cigarette-related diseases than smokers themselves.

The question that remains unanswered is why the government, despite the evidence of cigarette harm, has for a long time acted in favor of the tobacco industry and all multiplier effects it has created that go against the noble goal of promoting good health for all.

3 Key Markets for Philip Morris International

The tobacco company does business around the world, but some of its markets are more important than others.

http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/09/26/3-key-markets-for-philip-morris-international.aspx

Cigarette maker Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) has built a truly global business, serving customers on six continents. Yet some of the nations in which Philip Morris sells its cigarettes and other tobacco products are more important to the company’s overall success than others, and investors need to watch those markets particularly closely to make sure that they catch any potential changes that could help or hurt the company. Below, we’ll look at three key markets for Philip Morris to see how they’ve fared recently.

1. Indonesia

Indonesia has one of the largest overall cigarette markets of any country that Philip Morris serves, and unlike many areas of the world, that market is growing. In the second quarter of 2016, Philip Morris estimated the size of the total cigarette market at 83.6 billion units, up 5 billion in just the past year. For its part, Philip Morris shipped more than 28.5 billion units to Indonesia during the quarter, claiming about a third of the overall market with brands like Sampoerna and Dji Sam Soe. In particular, Philip Morris has had success with what it calls the Whites segment, claiming four-fifths of the market in that category. The key Machine-Made Kretek market, which makes up about three-fourths of Indonesia’s total market, has been less successful for Philip Morris, but the company still claims about 30% of that segment.

Indonesia has suffered from a sluggish economic environment lately, and Philip Morris has seen its market share fall by a full percentage point over the past year. Gains in the size of the market were largely due to the timing of the Ramadan period compared to last year’s second quarter, and Philip Morris expects long-term trends to be closer to flat. Nevertheless, Indonesia’s sheer size will make it an important market for Philip Morris to target going forward.

2. Russia

Russia also has a strong culture of smoking, and its size makes it an essential element of Philip Morris International’s overall strategic vision. The Russian cigarette market sold about 72.1 billion units in the second quarter, and Philip Morris was responsible for 20.5 billion of them, climbing market share of 27%.

Oddly enough, though, Russia is one area in which the Marlboro brand has been almost inconsequential. Marlboro has a market share of just 1.4%, compared to 8% for Bond Street and 3.9% for Parliament. Other brands, which include L&M, Chesterfield, Optima, and Next/Dubliss, were collectively responsible for more than half of Philip Morris sales in Russia.

Troubling for Philip Morris is that the Russian cigarette market is shrinking quickly, posting a nearly 7% year-over-year drop compared to last year’s second quarter. The price increases that Philip Morris has implemented to try to offset falling volume have resulted in a hit to market share, and the company will have to balance competitive pressure against its desire for higher profit in order to get the most from the nation.

3. Italy

By contrast, Philip Morris’ markets in the European Union are relatively small. Yet the EU is an essential component of Philip Morris’ success because of the company’s ability to squeeze higher profit margin from many countries there.
As an example, in the second quarter, Philip Morris’ sales in the EU and in Asia were roughly the same, but EU operating company income of $1.07 billion was more than $320 million higher than the corresponding figure in Asia.

Within the EU, Italy stands out. The Italian cigarette market sold only about 18.7 billion units in the second quarter, but Philip Morris was responsible for more than half of them, at 10.1 billion. Marlboro had market share of nearly a fourth all by itself, and the Chesterfield and Philip Morris brands were responsible for another 20 percentage points of share.

The good news for Philip Morris in Italy is that efforts to reduce the level of illegal trade in cigarettes has paid off somewhat. With the new PMI Impact campaign, Philip Morris hopes to engage a broader set of interested parties to fight smuggling, and the likely result is potential further gains in legitimate sales volumes of its tobacco products. Investors should watch results in Italy closely for additional signs of success on the illicit trade front.

Philip Morris wants to serve the whole world, and it will continue to reach out to customers everywhere it can find them. These three countries will be especially important for Philip Morris in its efforts to capture as much growth as possible going forward.

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Sex, Lies, and Cigarettes

In this Emmy-nominated documentary, Christof Putzel investigates Big Tobacco’s successful and deadly expansion into the developing world. From the smoking baby to the Marlboro Man, little is off limits in the “Wild West” of the world’s fastest growing smokers market.

-Overseas Press Club Award
-Prism Award

Sex, Lies, and Cigarettes from Christof Putzel on Vimeo.