Advocates of tobacco in Indonesia say: Light Up!

This is more or less generally accepted that smoking is harmful to health. But some people in Indonesia, where smoking is a kind of national pastime, claim otherwise. Issues of smoking in Indonesia have been allocated in the last month, when local media reported that an eight-year boy in West Java smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.

Videos smoking two-year-old boy from Sumatra has received more than 17 million views on YouTube, since it was uploaded in May 2010. Anti-smoking campaign, said cases of smoking among children may be just the tip of the iceberg. Indonesia has the third highest number of smokers after China and India. Nearly 66 percent of Indonesian adults, or more than 50 million people smoked in 2007, according to the Ministry of Health, an increase compared to 62.2 percent in 2001. The ministry said that two percent of children between the ages of 10 to 14 years consume cigarettes.

Health legislation in Indonesia, passed in 2009, lists tobacco as a dependency. Nevertheless, the government plans to restrict the promotion of cigarettes in the country, where concerts and sports events are regularly supported by tobacco companies faced continued opposition from the cigarette and other interests of Indonesians who say they are trying to protect domestic industry.

The book was created in February, offering the latest example. The book argues that anti-tobacco campaign of Indonesia is part of a plot to destroy the kretek, the type of local clove cigarettes from tobacco and other allegedly secret ingredients that are traditional for the country. In the book titled “The Murder of Indonesia: Global conspiracy to destroy the Kretek”, argues that anti-smoking campaign in the country, in the same spirit as propaganda against coconut oil, sugar, salt and other local industries that use a lot of Indonesians .

The authors - three little-known researchers, who say that they operate independently of each other and concerned about the persistence of local traditions and livelihoods - argue that anti-smoking efforts are part of a larger scheme of economic neo-colonialism, to reduce competition in the domestic market to foreign importers and the establishment of trade imbalances.

They note that the U.S. banned clove cigarettes in 2009, the family smoking prevention and tobacco control law, which gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the tobacco industry. Supporters of this move say it was designed so that young people are not picking up smoking. But Indonesia has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. in the World Trade Organization, arguing that the act of violating international trade rules, because it was not applied uniformly, as it does not apply to menthol cigarettes. WTO granted the petition and on Wednesday threw out the U.S. appeal against the ruling.

“Although the U.S. denies our kretek, Philip Morris, U.S. multinational companies, poached our largest kretek companies and is currently the market leader in Indonesia,” the book says. “It’s ridiculous.” It was not immediately possible to reach officials of Philip Morris. A spokesman for PT HM Sampoerna Tbk, Indonesia’s largest cigarette company, owned by Philip Morris, could not be reached for comment.

The book, endorsed by the artists, writers, and even university professors, said that kretek industry employs 30 million people, directly or indirectly, contributed to 62 trillion rupees ($ 6.8 billion) in the state treasury in 2010. Some people in Indonesia to go further, arguing that smoking can have health benefits.

A team of scientists and physicians headed by nanochemist Greta Zahar designed specially treated cigarettes, called Divine cigarettes, which they say could serve as a channel for detoxification. Scientists say that nicotine is not harmful itself, but that commercial cigarettes are dangerous because they contain traces of mercury, highly toxic metal. Dr. Zahar reportedly developed good cigarettes by introducing aromatic “scavengers” - substances that react with and remove the mercury. The team treated thousands of cancer patients in a clinic in Jakarta since 1998, some of which show the effectiveness of the method.

“We were able to transform the toxic fumes of cigarettes in the stage when they are no longer toxic, and where we have proved this with the biological and medical point of view of experiments”, the team said on its website Lily Sulityowati, head of the Ministry of Public Health Center for Health Promotion said: “We constantly remind people that smoking is dangerous to our health. “It is impossible to close the tobacco factories, but we have to inform the public that smoking is harmful to health.”

In 2010, former Australian diplomat, Murray Clapham, wrote the opinion piece in the Jakarta Post of Indonesia come from scientists, a lot of criticism of many in his native country. Mr. Clapham died of prostate cancer at 72 last year. Fuad Baradja, Chairman of the Foundation of smoking in Indonesia, said in a conspiracy theory and science for the alleged good cigarette litter. “I do not think at all,” said Mr. Baradja, a former actor, now a doctor who helps people quit smoking. “For every scientist who says the Indonesian tobacco is good, there are thousands of scientific studies that show the dangers of smoking.”

Lily Sulityowati, head of the Ministry of Public Health Center for Health Promotion said: “We constantly remind people that smoking is dangerous to our health.” “It is impossible to close the tobacco factories, but we have to inform the public that smoking is harmful to health.”

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