Smoking in East Timor

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Smoking in East Timor is highly common, with the country having a high percentage of smokers.[1] An estimate 33% of the population smoke daily, with 61% of East Timorese men who use tobacco products regularly.[1] Although it is required that packaging display warnings, this is rendered largely ineffective by the large amount of East Timorese adults who cannot read. There is very little restriction on Tobacco advertisement and it is common to see teachers and students smoking in school.[1]

A study in 2008 found that stress brought on from poverty and the struggle for independence significantly contributed towards youth smoking.[2] Former President and independence activists Xanana Gusmão is himself a heavy smoker who said that cigarettes helped him and his colleges stay calm while they were fighting the Indonesians.[1] As with neighboring Indonesia tobacco advertisement is prevalent and cigarettes are cheap, only around 25 cents per pack.[1]

In November 2015 the East Timorese government promised tighter rules governing tobacco consumption.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Taylor, Peter (4 June 2014). "The country where nearly two-thirds of men smoke". BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  2. ^ Fanda, Robert & Brown, David. W., (2008) "Smoking among Youth in East Timor-Leste: What are the Dynamics?". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Volume 45, December 17, 2008
  3. ^ "East Timor tackles cigarette smoking with a new law to control tobacco". East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2017.