Indonesian Cigarette Packs Finally Get Graphic Warnings

Most of the country's residents are heavy smokers, need incentives to quit

As one gruesome video recently made public by UK's Health Department shows, smoking significantly impacts both on one's well-being, and on public health.

Because of this, the news that Indonesia's high officials have finally decided to take appropriate measures against the country's heavy smokers is more than welcomed by health advocates.

This past Tuesday, the country's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, signed a regulation which stated that the cigarette packs that were to be sold in the country from that moment on had to display graphic warnings concerning the ways in which tobacco and the other chemical compounds found in one's run-off-the-mill cigarette toyed with a person's organism.

These photo warnings are to be displayed on both the front and the back of cigarette packs, and cover 40% of these surfaces. Written warnings will also be featured next to these images.

Furthermore, tobacco companies will no longer be allowed to advertise their products using words such as "light/mild," "ultra light/mild," "low tar," "slim," "special," "full flavor," "premium."

Lastly, advertisements whose purpose is that of promoting smoking must no longer build a “halo” around this habit.

Sources report that the companies that are in the business of manufacturing and marketing cigarettes have been given a total of 18 months to re-think their working agenda and make sure that the cigarette packs they sell abide by the new rules and regulations.

However, sources report that, as far as several anti-smoking activists are concerned, 18 months is simply too much time.

It is their belief that 6 months are more than enough for these companies to begin distributing cigarette packs that display said graphic warnings.

As Kartono Muhammad, an adviser presently working with Indonesia's Kartono Muhammad, put it, "We want this regulation to be implemented immediately. It shouldn’t be delayed any further because it’s already three years late [the regulation was supposed to have been implemented back in 2010] as it is."

One other complaint is that the country's government somehow forgot about banning the selling of cigarettes by the stick, which means that minors and people who are struggling with various financial issues will still be able to smoke even if they cannot afford to buy an entire pack.

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