Vaping Is Under Fire In Indonesia
Indonesia – a country well known for its smokers – is moving to butt out its e-cigarette market, sparking warranted criticism.
The country has one of the world’s highest smoking rates with around 65% of adult males smoking. The cost of cigarettes in Indonesia is, not surprisingly, very cheap with a pack of Marlboros costing as little as US$1.30.
Cigarette advertising is also everywhere across the country, and when cigarettes contribute a little over $11.5 billion U.S. dollars per annum in taxes, public health doesn’t seem to be a huge concern.
I mean, a toddler made headlines in 2010 for chain smoking.
Ordinary smoking cessation products can be hard to find, so it’s no surprise that Indonesia is a key growth market for tobacco giants given the general lack of anti-smoking legislation.
Despite this, vape shops have been popping up across Indonesia with over 900 in the country so far. In response to this massive growth in the vaping industry, Jakarta said it will be imposing an insane 57 percent tax on all non-tobacco alternatives starting later in the year.
Rhomedal Aquino, spokesman for the Association of Indonesian Personal Vaporizers, told AFP:
“We agree with a tax plan to control consumption, but a 57 percent duty is too high – it will kill a growing industry.”
Muhammad Subuh, a senior ministry official was quoted as saying:
“E-cigarettes are just as dangerous and can be even more carcinogenic than regular cigarettes”.
With officials being as uneducated about e-cigarettes as this poor sap appears to be, it’s no wonder the Indonesian government is trying to make this seem like a health decision.
They’re really just trying to protect the cash they’re making on cigarettes. And they’re making a lot.