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Indonesian smokers

The Foreign Correspondent show on ABC TV tonight  spelt it out in relation to the disasterous Indonesian smoking situation. Each year 400,000 die  from tobacco-related diseases. Indonesia is one of the few nations on earth not to endorse the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control  – another is North Korea. Indonesia has low taxes on cigarettes and seemingly stupid politicians – their health minister, an absolute idiot.    The sight of the young Indonesian mother facing death (and dying) from passive-smoking-induced lung cancer was confronting.  The account of Phillip Morris pursuing Indonesia’s youth by promoting cigarettes at rock concerts and using the discredited ‘Marlboro Country’ advertising campaign showed just how low human beings can descend – both of the famed ‘Marlboro Men’ died of lung cancer – I guess this doesn’t cause a flicker of conscience among sleezebag Phillip Morris executives.

It is worthwhile keeping things in perspective.  Cigarettes killed 100 million people in the 20th century and seem likely to kill one billion in the 21st century.   The amoral criminals of ‘big tobacco’ are playing their part in fostering this holocaust.

3 comments to Indonesian smokers

  • Jim

    It was quite a good little documentary.

    The problem is one of payoffs: the Indonesian government doesn´t provide a great deal of health care, and so face few direct costs (save forgone tax revenues of dead workers) from smoking.

    On the flip side, the revenues to local governments from selling advertising space in their towns is enormous. One cannot enter a town in Indonesia without being confronted with “L.A. Lite”, “Djarum”, “Black” or “Garum” flags hanging from every lightpost.

    The Indonesian government will eventually come around. It will take far too many lives for that to happen, though.

  • hc

    Jim, I wondered why the government didn’t see hefty excises on smokes as attractive.

    The Health Minister seemed to be incredibly evasive – something going on there?

  • […] Harry Clarke » Indonesian smokers […]

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