width=272Murray Clapham, a businessman from Sydney, has claimed in an opinion piece for Jakarta's Times that scientists discovered that cigarettes can be good for people.

His piece was published in time with the anti-smoking legislation introduced by the government of Indonesia.

Mr Clapham is an Australian businessman who works across Asia and who also sits on the fundraising board of the Victor Chang foundation.

Mr Clapham defended his article.

If you read my article, I told that there may be some other causes, in relation to chronic diseases impacting our health, which we cannot attribute to smoking. he said.

But I'm also saying that the smokes that we smoke today are very, very bad for us.

The Australian Government's Department of Health included smoking as a risk factor in Australia's three killer diseases - heart diseases, strokes and lung cancer - and said that smoking is 20 percent responsible for all cancer deaths.

Anne Jones, the chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, says that the article is bizarre.

There is no evidence, accuracy and substance acceptable in the claims of Mr Clapham. she said.

And his timing is indeed very bad because Indonesia is losing millions of people a year due to smoking.

The government has been slow in taking action about this issue. And when they finally came up with a legislation that could decrease loss of life, this article comes out in a prominent Indonesian newspaper.

A spokeswoman for Victor Chang foundation says that they are a completely separate body from Clapham and that they firmly believe that smoking is harmful to one's health.

Dr Alan Farsworth, cardiac surgeon and fellow director of the Victor Chang foundation, says that Mr Clapham views do not represent the views of the foundation.