The health minister of Indonesia, the world’s fastest-growing cigarette market, has pledged to sign a United Nations treaty developed in response to what the UN’s World Health Organization has branded ‘the globalisation of the tobacco epidemic’.
Dr Nafsiah Mboi’s intention to sign the agreement will put her at loggerheads with Indonesia’s powerful tobacco industry, a backbone of the national economy which provides millions of jobs.
In advance of a meeting of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, scheduled to be held in the South Korean capital, Seoul, next week, the minister said an alarming increase in the number of child smokers in Indonesia has galvanised her determination to see the treaty signed.
Indonesia is among a tiny handful of countries, which include North Korea and Zimbabwe, not to have signed the UN tobacco control convention, which greatly restricts advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco
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