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[Comment] Looming threat of Asian tobacco companies to global health

The Indonesian Government is considering a ministerial decree that could triple cigarette production by 2020.1 The proposed decree follows unsuccessful bills2 to boost tobacco growing and “farmer prosperity”,3 despite concerns about health and child labour practices.4 If adopted, manufacturers would be required to use at least 80% locally sourced leaf, and a 200% excise tax would be imposed on cigarette imports. The measures follow the takeover of Indonesia’s major cigarette manufacturers by transnational tobacco companies (TTCs), which raises the concern that imports will displace domestic production.

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