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Tobacco Bill Promotes Kretek Industry: Emil Salim
Cigarette packs with health warning images. Jakarta, June 23, 2014. Tempo/Dian Triyuli Handoko
Monday, 21 December, 2015 | 19:00 WIB
Tobacco Bill Promotes Kretek Industry: Emil Salim

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Economist Emil Salim said that the global and domestic tobacco industry has strong control of Indonesia's market, with Philip Moris and Sampoerna dominating 30.1 percent of the market share while Gudang Garam and Djarum have 29.1 percent and 12.4 percent.

"Those three players occupy more than half of our cigarette industry. This means that they have a high influence," Emil said.

According to Emil, the Tobacco Bill currently drafted by the House of Representatives (House) is a tactic used by the tobacco industry to ensure their businesses can run smoothly. Emil said the bill only has provisions about the profit from tobacco production, and has nothing on the impact of tobacco consumption.

The draft also lacks provisions on health considerations, with Article 28 stipulating that labels are not mandated for cigars, rolled leaf cigarettes and fine-chopped tobacco; making it seems like those three types of smokes are safer for health.

The bill also leaves out regulations on the reduction of tar and nicotine content in cigarettes, whereas the two substances are a source for cigarette addiction.

"The bill greatly promotes kretek cigarettes," Emil said, citing how Article 53 of the bill protects the patents and copyrights of kretek cigarettes, even the formation of kretek-loving communities, kretek promotion, and goodwill.

The House plans to discuss the Tobacco Bill in its plenary meeting, aiming to have the bill, which they said will protect farmers, be included in the 2016 National Legislation Programs' (Prolegnas) priority list.


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