Indonesia became the newest country to mandate graphic photo warnings on cigarette packs this week, joining more than 40 other nations or territories that have adopted similar regulations in recent years. The warnings, which showcase gruesome close-up images ranging from rotting teeth and cancerous lungs to open tracheotomy holes and corpses, are an effort to highlight the risks of health problems related to smoking. Research suggests these images have prompted people to quit, but the World Health Organization estimates nearly 6 million people continue to die globally each year from smoking-related causes. The tobacco industry has fought government efforts to introduce or increase the size of graphic warnings in some countries.
Indonesia, a country of around 240 million, has the world's highest rate of male smokers at 67 percent and the second-highest rate overall. Its government is among the few that has yet to sign a World Health Organization treaty on tobacco control.
In 2010, a YouTube video showing a two-year old Indonesian toddler smoking cigarettes sparked outrage.