Post C: Primary Research-Interview & Analyst

My interview subject is called Muh Abdillah Akbar. He is a student from UMY, and studies government system as a major. In his free time, he likes to go swimming and read novels. His favorite novel is Sophie’s World. He is currently a smoker. Question: What do you feel about the regulation of no smoking on campus? He says that he thinks it’s good to have regulations and agrees that he should smoke less. Question: what are you interested in? He says he is interested in studying different government system and relations. Question: do you see yourself quitting smoking one day? He says that he want to quit in the future. Question: are you aware of the disease that could cause by smoking? He says that he does. Question: How much do you spend on cigarettes each week? He says he doesn’t remember. Question: what do you like to do after school? He says he likes to enjoy a cigarette after a meal. Question: what do you see yourself in twenty years? He says he will become a politician. After observation, it is discovered that the problem of smoking in the city is greater than in rural areas. There are some smokers in rural areas, mostly farmers and workers but no young adults, whereas, there are many young smokers in the city. There are also many smokers in universities, which reflects what Muh had told during the interview. Statics shows people in Indonesia who receives higher education is more likely to smoke than the ones who have lower education. (2013)

 Moreover, it is shown that increase tax on cigarettes would reduce the amount of one smokes because it wouldn’t be easily affordable for young adults or teenagers.(2014) During the interview, the Muh didn’t reveal how much it costs him to smoke for a week. If the tax was added on, he would not be able to afford to smoke as much as he does now. Therefore, a positive change could be make.

  There are also many second-hand smokers effected by the tobacco issue not only on campus, but other parts of the cities as well. Muh is aware of the issue that smoking could cause and he agrees with the restriction on campus without any hesitation, which makes him a considerate He will possibly follow the rules and not to harm any second-hand smokers on campus.

Reference list:

Kusumawardani N. 2013, ‘Socio-economic, demographic and geographic correlates of cigarette smoking among Indonesian adolescents: results from the 2013 Indonesian Basic Health Research survey’, Global Health Action, vol. 3, First, <>

Nurwidya F. 2014, ‘Strategies for an effective tobacco harm reduction policy in Indonesia.’, Epidemiology and Health, vol. 4, First, <!po=1.31579>

 Danubrata E. Costa A., 2017, ‘Exclusive: Indonesia eyes decree on tobacco after bill runs into opposition.’, World News, vol. 1, First, <!po=1.31579>


 To begin with, Indonesian tobacco companies are using advertising to stimulate western counterparts. (1999) There are many advertising on the side of the road to promote tobacco. Although more ambiguous than imagined, the effect is nevertheless negative. People pass by the road everyday would see those advertisement and thinking that smoking is okay because it is everywhere.

   It is hard for local clinic to practice smoking free education since there are so many obstacles, which gives more space for the tobacco business and advertisement. Indonesia is considered a advertising paradise since there is hardly any regulations and restrictions involved. (2008)There are no warnings or any kind of image demonstrates the disease cause by smoking. In the section: Youth masculinity: the pleasure of the crowd and identity seeking(2008), demonstrates a way to promote smoking by encouraging young adults to find where they belong to. Usually the scene includes young men sitting around together, sharing cigarettes. Most of the young male smokers at university do follow this habit of having a cigarette after lunch or dinner at the cafeteria, and for them it is a free time to socialize and have a conversation. However, the false advertisement makes them believe that having a cigarette is a must, there are other ways to make friends and find out where they belong to.  There was a campaign that made by local Indonesia designer and UTS that promotes a healthier lifestyle, and more local designers should involve in promoting anti-smoking. They can be designing some activities for the university students to have after class instead of gather around and smoke. Also, there could be education system to design and to collaborate with local clinic to help with more young smokers. The environment that created by the tobacco business is effecting health issues of Indonesian, but designers can help with the situations in many ways. There are certainly pressure coming from the government because ten percent of the income comes from tobacco business. Nevertheless, it’s not impossible to make a brighter future for Indonesia.

Reference list:

Reynolds C. 1999, ‘Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”, Tobacco Control, n.d., First, 20th December 2019, <>

Nichter M. 2008, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia.’, University of Arizona, n.d., First, 20th Dcember 2019, <>

CM Best. K Sun. 2007, ‘Paternal smoking and increased risk of child malnutrition among families in rural Indonesia.’ , AD WATCH, vol. 88, First, 20th December 2019, <>

POST D: Smoking culture’s cost in Magelang.

To begin with, there are more than 2,677,000 children and 53,767,000 adults tobacco users in Indonesia. 57.1 percent of men, 3.6 percent of women, 41 percent of bots and 3.5 percent of girls to be exact. (2017)

Tuksongo village which locates in Magelang, Central Java, contains the biggest tobacco field. The process of growing and drying tobacco requires laborers from the village, and it forms a production chain. (2018) The success once made of tobacco business continues to encourage the production. Moreover, the smoking culture had form itself by the effect of tobacco business, and it has been there for generations.

The fact that the profit of the business supports the residents’ income makes it more difficult to separate the smoking culture from Magelang. Most boys in Magelang start to smoke cigarettes at a very young age. As they first start smoking, most of their money were spent on cigarettes, and the need to smoke starts to grow a few years after. (2018) Young boys do not fully aware of the damage that cigarettes can do to their health, and they are too young and not fully-educated to realize the consequence. The value of what cigarettes represents, adulthood and masculinity, pass through generations. Therefore, it made tobacco control campaigns much more difficult to practice. (reference) It is hard to address the deadly cost of tobaccos when the business has been running for decades as well as the harmful legacy.

Moreover, Authorities are reluctant to put regulations into practice because they would face lots of dilemma and awkward situations. What they are facing are not only the smoking teenagers but a tradition that is powerful and stubborn. Therefore, instead of solve the real problem, they rather focus their energy onto putting up campaigns and advertisings that are against smoking.

Nevertheless, a group meeting of tobacco farmers are being held in Magelang on 19 November 2019. These who are involved are the famers who change their path away from tobacco industry, as they realize how much damages had smoking cost on teenagers and children. The goal is to urge the government to practice policies that would help with the situation and change people’s life in Indonesia. (2019) The current environment is that those who have low-income are spending more than they should on tobacco, and the fact that Magelang produces tobacco makes the children and teenagers have access to low-price, fresh-handed cigarettes.

Post A: Designers are human

Stakeholder map
This stakeholder map shows the influential interconnections between designer and industry by E. Tortorella.

In Indonesia there is a mistrust of science and government (Crosby et al. 2019). The confusion around cigarette use and whether or not it is harmful is information that Indonesians don’t fully recognise. The understanding that tobacco is a harmful substance has been blurred by designers in the industry that enables ‘tobacco companies spend over US $1 million per hour on marketing’ (Vital Strategies 2019). The tobacco industry sponsors international music events, sports events and even events aimed at children (Hodge & Rayda 2019), which uses visual material and systems that are designed to elicit an emotional response. The branding around events such as Gudang Garam Java Rockin’Land 2010 inextricably links tobacco with fun experiences. 

The creative industry in Yogyakarta and surrounds is interwoven politically in designing advertising campaigns that support industry and further raising the GDP of Indonesia (Nichter et al. 2008). The industry needs creative culture makers to grow the tobacco industry’s profits and be appealing to its young consumer audience. The advertisements that I saw when I visited Yogyakarta propels the stereotype of masculinity forward in the form of physical endurance sports. The link between the advertisement’s masculine image and catch phrase ‘Pro Never Quit’ (Hodge & Rayda 2019) and the promotion of cigarettes highlights an irony that is is reflected in the culture. 

Pro Never Quit 2016

Brand designs, no matter the medium, take on an influential dominance that affects cultural norms. Creative culture makers and local designers in Yogyakarta and other parts of Java design for international music events that are sponsored by the tobacco industry such as the Gudang Garam Java Rockin’Land whose main sponsor was Gudang Garam International, one of the biggest tobacco brands in Indonesia (SEATCA 2010). It aimed its advertising at young people, and even in the sponsor notes it reads the younger the better. The industry is seen a benefactor providing music and international experiences for young people, however the sinister reality is that the tobacco industry uses a marketing strategy (Eissenberg 2004) known as the Pavlovian model on them to associate pleasure and excitement with tobacco usage. 

Senior art director Tegar Yudhanataru designed the branding for the Pro Never Quit advertisements in the production house of Squarebox Cinetech. The content heavily dominates Yogyakarta’s billboards, roadside stalls and television (Hodge & Rayda 2019). Pro Never Quit is a slogan that belongs to Gudang Garam’s company brand called Surya Pro. Their vision was to make their brand be viewed as a man’s perfect cigarette (jasminesubrata 2019) and now their campaign is still getting recognition because of its controversial ideologies that are misinformative and falsely lead the consumer to looking at the unattainable luxurious lifestyles advertised by tobacco companies (McCall 2014).



Crosby, A., Dunn, J.L., Aditjondro, E. & Rachfiansyah 2019, ‘Tobacco Control Is a Wicked Problem: Situating Design Responses in Yogyakarta and Banjarmasin’, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 261-84.

Eissenberg, T. 2004, ‘Measuring the emergence of tobacco dependence: the contribution of negative reinforcement models’, Addiction, vol. 99, no. s1, pp. 5-29.

Freeman B. & Swandewi Astuti P.A. 2018, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, Australia, viewed 24 December 2019, <>.

Hodge, A. & Rayda, N. 2019, ‘Dying better than losing a friend’ in Indonesian smoker’s paradiseAustralia, viewed 24 December 2019 <>.

Hurt, R.D., Ebbert, J.O., Achadi, A. & Croghan, I.T. 2012, ‘Roadmap to a tobacco epidemic: transnational tobacco companies invade Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 306-12.

McCall, C. 2014, ‘Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia’, The Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9951, pp. 1335-6.

Subrata, J. 2016, Gudang Garam — Surya Pro, Indonesia, viewed 24 December 2019,<>.

South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance 2010, International artists performing at Indonesian tobacco-sponsored rock festival despite protests, viewed 24 December 2019, <>.

Vital Strategies 2019, Our work, Indonesia, viewed 24 December 2019, <;.




Posts A + C: Making Palm Oil Great Again; Surmounting unsustainable cultivation.

Edgar Su – from Reuters article (Ananthalakshmi & Chow 2019)

“My father is a middleman of sorts in the Palm Oil Industry, they aren’t all corrupt swindlers as is commonly thought. Definitely the tobacco industry has it’s issues, as does the Palm Oil industry…”

How is it that a conversation with a sixteen year old Indonesian begins with a story recounting his peer, who at 15 years of age sadly passed away from preventable illness due to smoking, divulge into an informed perspective that details perhaps Indonesia’s most wicked problems in industries of cultivation dating back decades? The young man who will be referred to as ‘Nasa’ provides a unique outlook into the scarce regard for ethical industrial regulations that plague more than just the tobacco industry, thus suggests a more wicked set of problems that perpetuates the already controversial problem of tobacco and palm oil in Indonesia.

Nasa is very close with his father, (referred to as ‘Mr. Red’) who is an astounding figure within the Palm Oil Trade; his benevolent ethos goes against the problematic nature of palm oil cultivation, heavily criticised by western media for it’s history of deforestation (Ananthalakshmi & Chow 2019).

Having studied forestry in the late 90s, Mr. Red continued with his masters degree once Suharto’s presidential term came to an end in 1998, resulting in change of policy regarding forestry management from centralised to decentralised. As a consequence, regulations that existed or would be “implemented” in following years were often not enforced by private entities and smallholders (Indonesia – Freedom in the World 2007 2007), thus deforestation became a massive ecological issue that concerned Mr. Red. Following his masters, he was fortunate to be Invited to participate in MYRLIN, a training workshop hosted by Oxford University wherein forest yield regulation in naturally moist-tropical-forested-areas were discussed, and sustainable models were presented by Dr. Denis Adler (Adler, Baker & Wright 2002). Mr. Red would implement what he learnt from the MYRLYN workshop as a University lecturer and smallholder consultant in order to be a polarising force against his observations of corruption, negligence regarding foresting guidelines, and how this affected local communities; all of which were confirmed as a broad transnational issue in MYRLIN (ibid).

Participants of the MYRLIN training workshop (Adler, Baker & Wright 2002)

Both palm oil (Singh et al. 2013b, p. 5) and tobacco (Rondhi, Wardhono & Prakoso 2010, pp. 8-11) industries have arduous levels of processing from farm to factory: cultivation and processing segments reside largely between smallholders, middlemen and numerous processing factories (Tobacco) / mills (Crude Palm Oil); thus, similarities between both industries can begin to be observed. Mr. Red states that: 

Flow chart of palm oil production and bi-products (Singh et al. 2013b, p. 5)

“The palm oil industry relies largely on middlemen as a primary method of transaction and logistics between the large number of independent aforementioned smallholders and varying degrees of palm oil processing plants, this leaves open the possibility for inefficiency and mismanagement, as the sheer difficulty of enforcing mandated regulations opens up the opportunity for self interested entities to exploit”

This is what I can best explain metaphorically as an “anarcho-capitalist wild-west”. 

Following 1998, former President Suharto’s Industrial-Oligarchy was “decentralised”, however many industrial monopolies were prior given to his children and nepotist cronies (Freedom House, 2007). This allowed big players to remain big, often graft in their business dealings, resulting in controversial proceedings such as the case of Hutomo Putra (Tommy Suharto), who was sentenced for corruption charges, then went on the run, and ordered the assignation of the very judge who convicted him (Agloinby 2007). The ongoing result of decentralisation is corporate governance, this has both negative and positive outcomes. Mr. Red explains that “large companies and foreign corporations hold the power to dictate the value of [palm oil precursor] – FFB (Fresh Fruit Bunch)” exported by smallholders and larger plantations, similar to what was seen in Tommy Suharto’s clove monopoly dealings (ibid). This is also made worse due to the numerous processes within the chain of production of FFB into Crude Palm Oil (CPO) for commercial goods. Prices for FFB from smallholder communities are often re-negotiated by the manufacturing facilities, down to processing plants, through middlemen, and finally back to the smallholder. 

“There are millions of independent smallholders, thousands of CPO mills, hundreds of refineries, and dozens of manufacturing plants. This chain of supply relegates the smallholders to the smallest cut of the profit. Independents need to be supported in the developing world, that’s where I come in.”

In 2005, MR. Red decided to start his own business delegating between smallholders and CPO mills, which later in 2007, the company would have the majority of its shares purchased by Tommy Suharto. MR. Red remained company director thereon, the refined business model saw a three way profit split: 30% to local community smallholders; 30% returned to investors; and 40% profit remained as fluid capitol within the business. This sustained the community and kept investors as well as company profit split fairly, sustaining all stages of the industry. 

MR. Red with Tommy Suharto

Mr. Red suggests that Palm Oil can be sustainable, and help in further developing Indonesia’s economy, suggestible as an alternative crop to tobacco, as renewable bi-prodicts can be utilised from palm oil processing: Palm fibre can be used as fertiliser; palm shell can be used as a substitute for coal (Singh et al. 2013a). He also states that with proper management of where the palm is cultivated, and by using less fertilisers which corrupt the soil, negative ecological effects can be spared in future sustainable cultivation (Darras et al. 2019). Lastly, Mr. Red claims that a system based on MYRLIN that can track FFB output through the processes of CPO production would greatly increase yield regulation and sustainability, this is where Mr Red’s company, along with benevolent corporate governance can save Palm Oil from scrutiny, and can bring it forward into sustainability. It is reported that the Palm Oil companies fear the fate of tobacco industries, and that perhaps it should act in similar methods to maintain an ethical yield to quell the wicked problem of tobacco (Ananthalakshmi & Chow 2019).

Mr. Red with farmers

Currently, Mr Red manages a new business after resigning from the company owned by Mr. Suharto, his new company is a continuation of his sustainability ethos, acting as a benevolent middleman for a sustainable future for all aspects of the palm oil industry.

Thank you to “Nasa” and “Mr. Red” for sharing your valuable insights with me.

Me and “Nasa”


Adler, D., Baker, N. & Wright, H. 2002, Report of a Training Workshop on Methods of Yield Regulation in Moist Tropical Forest with minimal data, Oxford Forrestry Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Agloinby, J. 2007, Suharto’s son named in corruption case, Finnancial Review, <;.

Ananthalakshmi, A. & Chow, E. 2019, Fearing tobacco’s fate, palm oil industry fights back, Reuters, <;.

Darras, K.F.A., Corre, M.D., Formaglio, G., Tjoa, A., Potapov, A., Brambach, F., Sibhatu, K.T., Grass, I., Rubiano, A.A., Buchori, D., Drescher, J., Fardiansah, R., Hölscher, D., Irawan, B., Kneib, T., Krashevska, V., Krause, A., Kreft, H., Li, K., Maraun, M., Polle, A., Ryadin, A.R., Rembold, K., Stiegler, C., Scheu, S., Tarigan, S., Valdés-Uribe, A., Yadi, S., Tscharntke, T. & Veldkamp, E. 2019, ‘Reducing Fertilizer and Avoiding Herbicides in Oil Palm Plantations—Ecological and Economic Valuations’, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, vol. 2, no. 65.

Indonesia – Freedom in the World 2007 2007, Freedom House, <;.

Rondhi, M., Wardhono, A. & Prakoso, B. 2010, ‘Instituional Arrangement of Indonesian Tobacco Farming’, paper presented to the 2010 International Conference on Institutional Economics, Shandong University, Jinan, China, <;.

Singh, P., Sulaiman, O., Hashin, R., Peng, L.C. & Singh, R. 2013, ‘Using biomass residues from oil palm industry as a raw material for pulp and paper industry: potential benefits and threat to the environment’, Environmental Decelopment and Sustainability, vol. 15, pp. 367-83.

POST A: Designing in the Tobacco Landscape

Having visited Yogyakarta, it is evident that the culture of the city is fostered through the soul of creative art which can be seen all around. From street art, independent boutique stalls for designers and numerous galleries, Jogja is a place where creativity comes to life. “Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakartais where the Javanese language is at its purest, the arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible.” (Lonely Planet, 2019). 

Street Art in Jogja, a glimpse into the creative landscape. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.

The first time I thought about the link between tobacco companies and the power that designers have, was when I was on a tour in Kali Code. My tour guide, Bayu, stopped to show us some art produced by students in the area. He said that each year the students are able to exhibit their work near Kali Code at an event sponsored by tobacco companies. This made me think of other ways that the tobacco industry has crept into the scenes of events, disguising itself as a friendly sponsor. 

My visit to Kali Code. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.

Such examples in the past have included the event Java Rockin’ Land, sponsored by Gudang Garam, an Indonesian cigarette company. The event also targeted school children, who “…are enticed to attend the event through special discounted ticket prices”. (SEATCA, 2010). The role of designers in helping to bring these sponsored events to life often include the creation of posters and advertisements that further the agenda of the tobacco companies. 

Still not having signed the WHO FCTC, Indonesia does not need to enforce measures for tobacco control. These measures for control include: “…ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship”. (Kin, Lian & Yoon, 2010). As a result, advertising and sponsorship by tobacco companies runs rampant throughout Indonesia, having a detrimental effect towards the tobacco cessation movement. A study on smoking behaviour showed that: “cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke”. (Dewi & Prabandari, 2016).

As designers, we can choose if we want to partake in furthering the power of the tobacco industry, or take a stand and say ‘no’.  American designer, Victor Papanek, notes that “social good and moral values are very important in a designer’s practice…”. (Savvina, 2016).

Whether it be through refusing roles that are associated with tobacco industries or through our own forms of self-expression such as street art, designers can choose how they want to influence the world around them.

‘Stop Smoking’. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.


Dewi, A. & Prabandari Y. 2016, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students, Global Health Action, vol. 9, viewed 23 December 2019,

Java Rocking Land, 2010, Java Rockin’ Land, viewed 22 December 2019,

Kin, F., Lian, T. & Yoon, Y. 2010, How the Tobacco industry circumvented ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Observations from selected ASEAN countries, Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 449 – 466.

Lonely Planet, 2019, Yogyakarta, viewed 22 December 2019,

Savvina, O. 2016, Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, vol. 2, viewed 23 December 2019, 

Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, 2016, ASEAN Tobacco Control Resource Center, viewed 23 December 2019,

Stakeholders at Tobacco Sponsored Music Events

The music scene in Yogyakarta is booming, and the tobacco industries who have a blatant yet denied obsession with youth advertising find this scene to be the perfect grounds to plant the seeds of their brand (Agato, AW, 2018). This includes various modes of advertising at the events through sponsorship which creates a complex relationship, as the companies are supporting the events with large payments. This helps them to exist and survive, yet markets dangerous products to the audience (Ketchell, 2018). Sponsorship usually looks like tobacco branding displayed on all festival/event posters, billboards and promo girls handing out free cigarettes. As well as online marketing in the form of website links and even through Instagram. Instagram is a problematic mode as there is no real way to bypass age restrictions, young people from all over the world are able to see the images and content through hashtags and links (Astuti, Assunta, & Freeman, 2018).

Local and international artists play at these events and it can still be unclear as to how much the musicians themselves are involved with the tobacco companies. Many deny having known the event was sponsored by tobacco industry. Kelly Clarkson visited Indonesia for a festival in 2010 and sparked media outrage when it was discovered that the concert was sponsored by tobacco brand L.A Lights. Clarkson eventually dropped the sponsorship and we can speculate whether or not she really knew about the sponsorship in the first place or if it was dropped only due to media pressure.  Kelly Clarkson is not alone as many International and Australian bands still tour in Indonesia and frequent events which are sponsored by big tobacco (NBC Los Angeles 2010).

People like Kelly Clarkson are role models for many young people and they have an opportunity as creative culture makers to be a positive influence in this space. If large public figures are educated on the matter and have the power to say no to tobacco influence I their shows they have a way to positively influence their young audience. Almost all tobacco advertising plays on the ‘cool factor’ and if role models who young people define as cool, can be seen refusing the influence of tobacco this could be considered a form of design activism in the Yogyakarta region.


Agato, Y. AW, T. 2018, ‘Asias Experimental Music Scene is About to Explode’ , Vice Indonesia, viewed 20 Dec 2019, <;

Astuti, P., Assunta, M., & Freeman, B. (2018). Raising generation “A”: a case study of millennial tobacco company marketing in Indonesia. Tobacco Control, 27(e1), e41–e49.

Ellis, L. 2011, ‘Mormon Band Shuns Tobacco, Except in Indonesia’ Motherjones, viewed 20 Dec 2019, <;

Ketchell, E. 2018, ‘Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing’ The Conversation, viewed 20 Dec 2019,  <;

NBC Los Angeles, 2010, Kelly Clarkson Sparks Smoking Debate As Tobacco Company Sponsors Indonesian Concert, viewed 20 Dec 2019,

POST A: Finding new solutions

The special region of Yogyakarta is the home of Javanese fine art and culture with significant cultural and education centres. The advertising environment is described as “advertiser’s paradise”. (Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M 2009). On our recent visit to Yogyakarta, it is relevant that they are proud local artists who fill the streets with beautifully handcrafted arts and street art.  

Tobacco advertising is a significant component in Yogyakarta, with a vast majority of advertising on banners, shop fronts, bus shelters, newspapers and Billboards. The tobacco companies are heavily involved with celebrations and events such as culture, sporting and music events with major international artists such as Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson. In 2008 Alicia Keys had responded to an antismoking group who pulled her out. Key’s said she was unaware of the tobacco endorsements and was unappreciative of it. “I am an unyielding advocate for the well-being of children around the world and do not condone or endorse smoking”. (Gina S 2008) Which was the ordered to be taken down, and all A Mild cigarettes advertisement on promotions to be removed.

Although in 2012, the Indonesian government adopted a tobacco control regulation which has limitations in advertising. (The conversation 2018) Most design activists in Indonesia are dealing with issues because of little awareness and understanding with the help of education awareness and health programs factors within the fields of art and design these issues could be achievable. 

On our recent visit speaking with Novaldy, he had assured us that trying to control tobacco is merely impossible in this country. Novaldy says “The best way to get through to people is not to tell them that tobacco isn’t good and is unhealthy. Because they will resist and a revolution will start again” The best source of outcome would be to try and find new solutions and ways in tobacco usages as it is one of the country’s most significant fields of growth. Smoking isn’t a habit; it is a cultural trend.  

There are alternative ways to use tobacco, working along side designers, scientist, and eco-design business creating alternative products such as clothing and natural dyes can be designed and created. Tyton Bieoenregy form North Carolina has been working on with tobacco as a source for biofuel and oil. Tyton says they have now figured out ways to use as jet fuel! (Dan Nosowits 2016) The plant is also inexpensive to grow and can be harvest up to three times a year with significant growth rates. Tobacco remains the largest non-food crop on Earth as more countries are kicking the cigarette habits and embracing healthier lifestyles and alternatives tobacco could reaffirm the leafy plant’s cash crop status in the future. (Emily Demarest 2015)

Image by

Dan Nosowits 2016, Modern farmer: Amazing use for tobacco besides smoking it: Jet Fuel (Seriously) <>

(Emily Demarest 2015, Tyton Brings New Future to Tobacco as Sustainable Biofuel, online articall, viewed 20 December <>

Gina Serpe 2008, Alicia’s Smoking Promotions Hit Wrong Key, viewed 20 December <;

Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M 2009, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia Tobacco Control, online journal, viewed 20 December  <>

The conversation 2018, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, online article, viewed 20 December <;

POST C: Tobacco use and behaviour change

In my recent trip to Yogykarta I meet Luqman who works near the Green host hotel as a becak driver, 42-year male living in Yogyakarta. He Learnt English just from talking to clients and visitors. He moved to yoga when he was 15 to work and have money. He also works with an Australian company in Melbourne which imports Indonesian’s handcrafted materials.

Luqman had he’s first cigarette with his father, who smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day, he started smoking when at 14years old. He enjoyed the ‘relaxing and stress-free effects from smoking but one day he just decided to quit because it was ‘boring’. Five years ago Luqman had decided to quit, “I Didn’t like smoking, I only smoke because my friends smoke, but that is why I stopped”. In the Javanese’s culture It is quite common to start smoking from a young age, It is estimated around one million children smoke under the age of 16. (ABC 2011) “When you are younger, everyone smokes, we will hide in the bathrooms at school and smoke with all our friends.”  Luqman has also convinced he’s friends who now have quit smoking for 4years. “I gave him the inspiration, and now they have stopped”. Luqman is quite healthy, with no asthma and felt a lot healthier after he quit smoking.

In Yogyakarta it’s different, the people are open minded.

In Yogyakarta the only places you can’t smoke are shopping malls, healthcare facilities and public transport. (Tobacco control laws 2019), smoking in the streets seems to be no problem. Smoking while driving can cause many accidents because the ash can go into people’s eyes, pYLKI chairman Tulus Abadi said that at least 30,000 motorists die each year due to human error. (The Jakarta Post 2018)

Luqman says”I think at this moment the rules aren’t working, but I hope one day the rules will work” In Australia, there are set rules in place to make sure people are safe. The regulations in Australia work, but here we have a vast population 388,627 people in Yogyakarta alone (UN data 2019) One police must take care of 125 thousand people in one area. “It is not possible for one person to do everything.”

The Jakarta Post 2018, YLKI urges police to ban smoking while driving, viewed on 18 December, <;

Tobacco control laws 2019, legislation by country Indonesia, viewed on 18 December, <;

UN data 2019, Public data,  viewed on 18 December, <>

Interview with Nursing Students

When walking around Jogja 2 nursing students Naila and Elma asked to interview us on HIV for their university project. In return we asked them some questions about their opinions on tobacco in Indonesia. It was great to hear a nuanced perspective which was from a young person who understood youth culture, as well as well health students who were highly educated on tobaccos’ effects on the body.

When I asked Naila what her opinion was on smoking she gave me a lengthy and well educated reply. She talked about the way that cigarette smoke makes up a large portion of the air pollution in Indonesia. It is the most important indoor air pollutant (Mangunnegoro and Sutoyo 1996). She also stated that passive smoking is more dangerous than active smoking. This shocked me and was something I hadn’t heard before. When I did some research later this checked out and I found that the smoke which hasn’t passed through the filter of the cigarette has more harmful chemicals than the smoke that the active smoker is inhaling (Cleveland Clinic 2017). Naila also said that 90% of tuberculosis cases in Indonesia are caused from smoking.

We then went on to talk about why people smoke in Indonesia. I wanted to know if people knew the risks or not. She said that they usually do, however people like her father have trouble quitting because they are already deeply addicted. Elma then told me that it took a big scare with lung disease in her family for everyone to stop smoking. None of them smoke anymore, however it is a concerning truth that it may take many smokers a brush with death to realise the reality of the health effects of tobacco.

When speaking about child smoking Naila said that the main reason kids smoke is by association. They see family and peers smoking and because they haven’t been educated about the risks yet they try it out. She called teens ‘labil’ which translates to unstable. Teen brains are much more likely to take risks, especially when around peers (Bessant, 2008). Naila believed that it’s perceived as ‘cool’ to smoke and some kids feel left out if they refuse.

This interview shed light on some new facts I didn’t know about and solidified ideas we already had. Naila had some interesting facts about tobacco that she had learnt at university which we hadn’t heard before. As well as some important insight into youth tobacco culture.


Bessant, J. 2008. Hard wired for risk: Neurological science,‘the adolescent brain’and developmental theory. Journal of Youth Studies, 11(3), pp.347-360.

Cleveland Clinic 2017, Second Hand Smoke Dangers, viewed 20 Dec 2019, <;

Mangunnegoro, H. and Sutoyo, D.K., 1996. Environmental and occupational lung diseases in Indonesia. Respirology1(2), pp.85-93.

Trichopoulos, D., Kalandidi, A., Sparros, L. and Macmahon, B., 1981. Lung cancer and passive smoking. International journal of cancer27(1), pp.1-4.