PHW: Spotlight on Indonesia/5 of 8 countries with largest populations have finalized PHW

With Russia finalizing requirements for picture warnings, this means that of the 8 countries in the world with the largest populations, 5 have finalized requirements for picture warnings.  Here are 8 largest countries by population, and whether picture warnings are required:


1.       China, 1,347 million –NO

2.       India, 1,210 million — YES

3.       United States, 314 million – YES, but implementation delayed

4.       Indonesia, 238 million — NO

5.       Brazil, 192 million — YES

6.       Pakistan, 180 million — YES

7.       Nigeria, 162 million – NO

8.       Russia, 143 million – YES


In Indonesia, there is good news that significant progress has been made towards requiring picture warnings.  See news item below



Indonesia to Require Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes
Dessy Sagita | April 19, 2012


Blackened lungs. Gangrenous feet. Yellowed teeth.

Indonesia’s cigarette warning labels are about to get a lot nastier.

Government officials announced the new health warnings after a meeting on the country’s new tobacco regulations on Thursday. The warning labels — featuring graphic photographs of smoking-related illnesses — will be large, covering 40 percent of the packaging, government officials said. Similar health warnings are already standard in countries like Singapore and Thailand.

“Health warnings are considered necessary, so aside from the written warnings, we’ve agreed on graphic warnings that should cover 40 percent [of cigarette packages] on each side,” Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono said in Jakarta on Thursday.

The size of the new warnings was approved after some debate with tobacco companies, Deputy Health Minister Ali Ghufron said.

“Other countries indeed have graphic warnings covering 70 and even 80 percent [of their cigarette packages]. For us, it was very difficult to even agree on 40 percent,” Ali said.

Ministry officials met in Jakarta on Thursday to hash out the specifics of new regulations aiming to curtail cigarette use in Indonesia. The regulation is still in draft form and new rules on cigarette packaging will likely take a year or two to come into effect, Ali said.

Indonesia has the third-highest number of tobacco consumers in the world after China and India, according to Hasbullah Thabrany, a public health professor at the University of Indonesia. And every year, some 200,000 people die from smoking-related illnesses in Indonesia, according to figures from the United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

While the new regulations will add large health warnings to cigarette packs, they stop short of reining in Indonesia’s lenient rules on cigarette advertising and corporate sponsorship. Cigarette companies will still be able to sponsor concerts and festivals and cigarette ads can still appear in any media, as long as the actual cigarette is not shown.