Indonesia passes regulation that 40 percent of cigarette packaging should be graphic images

By Amanda Stewart,

Indonesia has become the newest country to approve graphic warnings on cigarette packaging.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that around 6 million people die around the world each year due to smoking-related illness.

The Associated Press reported that there are more than 40 nations worldwide that have adopted regulations, like the one adopted by Indonesia on Tuesday. Forty percent of the packaging will be covered in government-designed warnings in Indonesia.

"Starting today, cigarette producers must start to print the warning" of the health hazards smoking can pose, said Minister of Social Welfare, Agung Laksono. Any packaging that does not have graphic warnings must be taken off of the shelves within two to three months, according to Wall Street Journal.

The warnings are to show gruesome photos of mouth cancer and other ailments that are known to be caused by smoking cigarettes. Research is suggesting that countries that have adopted the new regulation have had more people quit smoking since the graphic warnings have been made mandatory.

Despite efforts, Indonesia is home to approximately 70 million smokers out of its population of 250 million. Indonesia has the third highest number of smokers in the world. China is number one and India number two.

The cigarette industry is one of the country’s largest areas of revenue. This year, Indonesia expects to make 110.5 trillion rupiah from cigarette sales.

A few countries that have passed regulations include: Thailand, 55 to 85 percent of the packaging to be warnings; Australia, 75 percent of the front and 90 percent of the back; United States, no graphic warnings; Philippines, 50 percent; and Uruguay, 80 percent.

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