Cigarette manufactures in Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest tobacco markets, began printing graphic health warnings on packets on Tuesday, but they have yet to appear in shops and the companies involved do not seem too worried about plunging sales.
Indonesia, home to the pungent “kretek” clove and tobacco cigarette, has joined the ranks of countries across the world enforcing stricter anti-tobacco laws to deter smoking, especially among youth.
But tobacco companies appeared undeterred by the potential impact on sales in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, where one in every five people smokes.
“It seems like the health warning does not have a significant impact on sales in the countries that have implemented this. We shall see if it will have any impact on our sales,” said Surjanto Yasaputera, corporate secretary of PT Wismilak Inti Makmur, a small cigarette manufacturer.
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