The Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) has admitted that graphic pack warnings showing the dangers of tobacco use will not lead to a significant decrease in the numbers of smokers in Indonesia, according to a story in The Jakarta Post quoting the Antara news agency.
Graphic warnings became mandatory in Indonesia on June 24.
“Therefore, apart from the pictorial warnings, the government needs to increase tobacco taxes to 57 percent of retail prices, up from the current 30 percent,” Tulus Abadi of the YLKI said in Jakarta on Monday.
Tulus said tobacco tax increases were much more effective than graphic warnings at reducing smoking rates. But at present, Indonesia had a low tobacco tax, he said, and an increase was needed to make people think twice before buying tobacco products.
Tulus said the number of smokers in Indonesia had reached 75 million out of a population of 253 million. “We should keep the number from growing further and reduce it if it is possible,” he said.
And he called on the government to tighten regulations on cigarette marketing and advertising.