- Title: Indonesia protesters say 'no' to Big Tobacco
- Date: 17th May 2017
- Summary: JAKARTA, INDONESIA (FILE - MAY 20, 2016) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING PAST A SHOP SELLING CIGARETTES CIGARETTE ADVERT CIGARETTES ON SALE JAKARTA, INDONESIA (FILE - MAY 19, 2016) (REUTERS) PEOPLE EATING AT STALLS PEOPLE WALKING PAST BANNER READING (Bahasa Indonesia): "NO SMOKING AREA" PEOPLE SITTING AT TABLE EATING WOMAN SMOKING WHILE SITTING AT TABLE JAKARTA, INDONESIA (FILE - MAY 22, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MAN SMOKING ON STREET
- Embargoed: 31st May 2017 12:14
- Keywords: anti-tabacco awareness draft tabacco law health minister protest farmer tobacco Indonesia
- Location: JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- City: JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026H87FWL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Protesters marched on Wednesday (May 17) against Big Tobacco as an industry exhibition of cigarette-making machines opened in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
The protest comes as a controversial tobacco bill, which could sharply raise cigarette output in the world's fourth-most populous nation, is being discussed by the parliament and government.
Indonesia is also the world's fourth-biggest cigarette producer and has one of the heaviest rates of smoking in the world. Late last year, the country's powerful parliament proposed a draft law covering production, distribution and excise taxes of tobacco, which it claimed would safeguard millions of jobs in the industry.
Nearly two-thirds of men are smokers in Indonesia, a country of 250 million people where an average packet of cigarettes costs less than $2.
Students say they are planning further protests against what they see as an increased effort by cigarette companies to target the young, and Indonesian Health Minister Nila Moeloek has expressed her opposition against the draft bill.
In March, a neighbourhood in the Indonesian capital informally declared itself a smoke-free zone, painting a row of at least a dozen houses in bright colours.
Despite health concerns, the tobacco industry is often defended in Indonesia by politicians and others as an important source of income for farmers and revenue for the government. The industry employs millions of workers and contributes almost 10 percent to government revenues through taxes.
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