Smoking rates in Indonesia have increased significantly in recent years, placing it with India and China as the nations with the highest smoking rates. Katie Hamann met with researchers at a recent tobacco conference in the capital, Jakarta.

They challenge the government’s position that the tobacco industry is vital to economic growth in Indonesia. It is unlikely that smoking is part of the training regime of Indonesia’s Olympic champion badminton team. But this television advertisement indicates that cigarettes and sports are a winning combination.

Indonesians are smoking more than ever before. The World Health Organization says more than 70 million adults regularly smoke, a six-fold increase over the past 40 years. An estimated 400,000 people will die this year from smoking-related diseases.


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