Indonesia, the world’s second-largest tobacco market, is considering a total ban on e-cigarettes, as in a growing number of countries, to crack down on e-cigarettes over health concerns. Anung Sugihantono, director of the department of disease control and prevention at the Ministry of Health, said the government was revising existing e-cigarette regulations.
“The Ministry of Health’s position is consistent: we want to ban, not restrict, e-cigarettes,” he said in a text message this week.
The proposed ban would be for Juul Labs Inc. Another setback. The company began selling products in Indonesia earlier this year in partnership with PT Erajaya Swasembada. Juul’s U.S. operations are facing intense scrutiny from regulators over whether it sells products to teenagers.
According to the World Health Organization, 35 percent of Indonesia’s 264 million people are smokers. The market is dominated by cigarette manufacturers such as PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna, PT Gudang Garam and PT Djarum, owned by Philip Morris International.