Former Guns’n’Roses guitarist Slash is the latest musician to sell out to tobacco sponsorship in Indonesia. The Suraya 12 brand of clove cigarettes feature prominently on posters and TV ads for his upcoming concert in Jakarta on Tuesday. He played in Surabaya on Saturday, along with his pals including former Aerosmith guitarist Bobby Schneck.
Suraya 12s are made by Gudang Garam, one of the biggest locally owned tobacco firms in the country. Strangely, its motto says one of the keys to success is good health.
The tobacco industry enjoys a redoubt of laissez-faire liberalism in Indonesia, and is making the most of it to try to compensate for falling sales in Western markets. As a result, about 400,000 Indonesians die every year from smoking-related illnesses, and addiction rates are rising, especially among the young.
(Photo courtesy of diagooliva via Wikimedia Commons)