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Indonesia's 'Cigarette Girl' takes on a macho world

KUALA LUMPUR -- A heady mixture of clove cigarettes, love, family drama and 1960s communism has made the Netflix TV series "Cigarette Girl" Indonesia's biggest hit of 2023 -- and pushed it into the streaming platform's top 10 most-watched films in nine other countries.

One reason for its success is the importance of smoking -- and especially of clove cigarettes -- in Indonesia, where 70 million of its 270 million people smoke, despite an intense public debate over health issues, cheap illegal imports and the lack of controls on cigarette sales to children.