According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health, approximately one-third of Indonesians aged over ten years smoke (36 percent), with 67 percent of men and 4.5 percent of women smoking some form of tobacco. While Indonesia is the fifth-largest tobacco market in the world, it is the only World Health Organization (WHO) member state in Southeast Asia that has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC was developed in response to the globalisation of the tobacco industry and tobacco use.
This framework sets out the necessary principles, obligations and tobacco control measures that are required in order to combat the negative impact of global tobacco use on people's health.
Unlike neighboring countries that have ratified the FCTC, tobacco advertising and promotion is allowed in Indonesia, albeit with certain restrictions. All advertisements may not show, among other things, cigarettes, the shape of cigarettes, tobacco product branding, or smoking. There are further restrictions on print and outdoor advertising. The law additionally prohibits the distribution of free and discounted tobacco products, tobacco products as prizes, as well as the brand stretching of tobacco products. Many forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited. However, charitable donations are permitted as long as trademarked names and logos and brand images are not used.
The Indonesian government introduced a new regulation on 1 January 2014 imposing a 10 percent tax from excise, known as the “regional cigarette tax”. The tax is set at 10 percent of cigarette excise rates, which vary depending on different types of cigarettes.
The tax, which is charged to cigarette producers and importers, is collected by the central government through regional excise and tax offices, and distributed to regional administrations every three months. At least half of the revenue from the tax, according to the 2009 Regional Taxation and Levies Law, must be spent on public health campaigns, especially those related to smoking.
In commemoration of World No Tobacco Day 2014 (on 31 May), Freeport Indonesia through the Industrial Public Health and Malaria Control (I-PHMC) of International SOS was able to negotiate with local retail Hero supermarkets a 24 hours-ban on tobacco sales in two regional supermarket outlets in Papua.
Dr. Rodriguez-Fernandez, Technical Advisor of the Industrial Public Health and Malaria Control department, said "we know that tobacco is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease globally. At a time when the number of heart attack and stroke cases we are having to treat at our local hospital is the highest it has ever been, we are happy to see that the private sector is open to collaboration in the fight against tobacco control in Indonesia."