Vice Squad
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Jakarta Passes Public Smoking Ban

Jakarta, Indonesia, one of the most cigarette-intensive locales in the world, has adopted a public smoking ban that is scheduled to take effect next year. (Straits Times Interactive story here, registration required.) The stated rationale behind the measure was not the standard 'protect the health of employees' trope, but rather, the need to combat air pollution. The Governor also was impressed with Singapore's public smoking ban. Here's an excerpt from the Straits Times article:
Every year about 182 billion cigarettes, mostly kretek cigarettes, are smoked in Indonesia, a number that has been growing persistently since the 1970s due to the relatively low prices.

Some 57,000 people die every year in Indonesia from illnesses caused by the smoking habit, according to the Health Ministry.

So huge is the number of smokers in the country that despite being the largest producer of cloves, a key ingredient for the popular kretek cigarettes, Indonesia still imports the commodity to meet the high domestic demand.
Thanks to a friend of Vice Squad for the pointer.

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