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Smokers treated like criminals: Group 

Jump to full article: Jakarta Post (id), 2010-11-26
Author: Hans David Tampubolon, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta


A group called for the repeal of a gubernatorial decree banning smoking inside buildings, saying the regulation treated smokers as criminals.

The National Clove Cigarette Community said in a press conference Thursday that the decree lowered the status of law-abiding cigarette smokers to that of criminals who had to be socially exiled. “For us, the city administration has completely discriminated against smokers, who are clearly consumers of legal products and who deserve the same legal protection,” community coordinator Abhisam said.

The decree, a revision of a 2005 bylaw, was issued in May this year. The new regulation rules out the establishment of smoking areas in buildings, which was tolerated under the older regulation, and completely prohibits smoking inside buildings.

Pro-smoking advocates had previously alleged that anti-tobacco groups, and the issuance of the decree, were backed by multi-national pharmaceutical companies through the Bloomberg Initiative, and that their main goal was to bring down Indonesia’s clove cigarette industry.

“Clove cigarettes are an Indonesian trademark. There is no other place in the world that can produce high quality clove cigarettes,” Abhisam said.

Pro-smoking groups argued that to quit smoking, people needed nicotine replacement therapy drugs produced by pharmaceutical firms, and given its large smoking population, Indonesia was a lucrative market for the companies.

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