Around two-thirds of adult men smoke in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest and least regulated tobacco markets. The government in Jakarta has tried to introduce legislation to restrict advertising but the proposals have been watered down after industry lobbying. The FT’s Ben Bland talks to smokers, lobbyists and health campaigners about why smoking is still so popular.
After years of debate, enhanced tobacco controls are finally coming to Indonesia, one of the world’s least regulated and (surprise, surprise) largest tobacco markets.
But analysts reckon big cigarette companies in Indonesia, from local players such as Gudang Garam to the likes of Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, need not be too worried. Continue reading »
Russia is finally getting tough on tobacco with a new law that will ban smoking in public places by January 1, 2015 and increase taxes on cigarettes by as much as eight times over the same period.
In a video blog released on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government would go ahead with the measures despite complaints from foreign tobacco producers, who managed to carve out a niche in Russia at a time when European and US sales were plummeting. Continue reading »
Promoting its recent World Tobacco Asia conference in Jakarta, UK-based organiser Quartz Business Media was unashamed, noting on its website that “Indonesia is a recognized tobacco-friendly market with no smoking bans or other restrictions and regulations in contrast to neighbouring Asean countries.”
With 61m smokers – that’s 67 per cent of all men and 5 per cent of women – and an average 20-pack costing just Rp12,700 ($1.32), Indonesia is the world’s fourth biggest cigarette market, in addition to being one of the least regulated. Continue reading »
When Russians and Turks spend, they also spend on cigarettes. This year’s surge in Russian and Turkish consumer activity has given a welcome boost to Philip Morris International, the US tobacco group.
As the company warned last month, the financial benefits would have been even greater had it not been for the recent turmoil in emerging market currencies. “Currency headwinds” held the company back, turning a 3.4 per cent gain in operating income before currency adjustments into a 2.7 per cent decline. Expect more such announcements from multinationals active in emerging markets. Continue reading »
The big dilemma for smokers is normally over health or habit: whether to give up is the key question rather than which brand of cigarette. But if the Indian government has its way, those who prefer foreign brands like Marlboro and Benson & Hedges may no longer have that choice.
According to the Economic Times, two years after the government banned foreign direct investment in cigarette manufacturing, Delhi is considering curbing imports, though it won’t likely concede to the full ban that the Consortium of Indian Farmers has demanded, for fear of violating WTO obligations. Continue reading »
With all the focus on Asia and Eastern Europe as the prime emerging market battlegrounds for Big Tobacco, it is easy to forget that Latin America is a continent that hasn’t quite kicked its own cigarette habit.
After more than three years of fully open access, we are taking the step of asking our readers to register on FT.com to read our articles. Beyondbrics will still be free but we'd like to know a bit more about you, our readers. Other FT blogs (including Alphaville) already do the same thing. Registration is active on beyondbrics from May 6.
Many of you are already registered on FT.com, or are subscribers - in which case, if you are logged in to the site you will not notice any difference. Just carry on as before.
For those of you not yet registered, it's a simple process which only takes a few moments.
Reading beyondbrics articles will NOT deduct from your free monthly quota of stories on FT.com.