04 July 2024, Jakarta, Indonesia: Indonesia’s progress on smoking rates has stagnated due to hostility, misinformation about vaping and high taxes, according to Smoke Free Sweden, while nations who have endorsed vapes have brought about a sea change in public health.

New Zealand halved its smoking rates from 13.3% in 2018 to 6.8% in 2023 by promoting the use of less harmful alternatives like vapes, writes international health expert Dr Marewa Glover in a new report for Smoke Free Sweden

But Indonesia’s policies towards vaping stand in the way.

New Zealand’s government has followed the evidence showing vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and endorsed it as a means for smokers to quit, just as Sweden has turned to smoke free nicotine alternatives. In both countries, alternative nicotine products are accessible – legal and widely available; acceptable – available in a range of flavours and nicotine strengths to cater for adult ex-smokers; and affordable, with excise reflecting their reduced risk.

In stark contrast, Indonesia has enormous excise taxes on vaping products of 57%. Not only does this make vaping simply unaffordable for many smokers, it also costs lives. Nearly 300,000 people die in Indonesia every year as a result of smoking.

Smoke Free Sweden leader Dr Delon Human reinforced this view, stating: 

Fear and misinformation about vaping are threatening Indonesia’s future. 

“Indonesia can benefit greatly from adopting tobacco harm reduction as a public health strategy, slashing taxes on vapes and learning from its Asia-Pacific neighbour, New Zealand, which has endorsed vapes with great success.


Notes to editors


Smoke Free Sweden

Jessica Perkins


About Smoke Free Sweden

Smoke Free Sweden is a movement that encourages other countries to follow the Swedish experience when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke free’ European country, with a smoking rate below 5 percent. This remarkable achievement can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative nicotine products.

For more information on Sweden’s successful approach to becoming a smoke free nation, please visit