Last night, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast a documentary on Indonesia's tobacco children
– 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 products and bans sales of cigarettes to minors.
– More than two-in-three Indonesian adult males smoke. There are estimated to be around 90 million smokers in a country of 238 million people. The proportion of children who regularly smoke is rising and one teenager in four is a regular smoker before they turn 16.
– The taxation of tobacco companies contributes 10 per cent of national revenue, making it as crucial to Indonesia as the financial sector is to Britain. It also provides around 10 million jobs, directly and indirectly.
– A short distance from a village in which the Channel 4 team filmed a six-year-old smoker – who has recently cut back from smoking 20-a-day – children between 11 and 12 years of age were filmed picking and sorting tobacco which was supplied to Bentoel, the BAT subsidiary, and other companies.
– Priyono Adi Nugroho, of Indonesia's Child Protection Institute, said "Child labour in the tobacco industry is dangerous work. Children are not supposed to be working. Children are suppose to go to school, study and play. Instead, they work in an industry which produces cigarettes. Then they start smoking themselves and see it as nothing out of the ordinary."
An excerpt can be viewed here.
– There are still billboards dotted around Jakarta which feature the Manchester United and former England defender Rio Ferdinand extolling his manliness above the obligatory health warning about the dangers of smoking.
– Jakartass is addicted to the evil weed.