Post A: Smoking in Design

To an extent design is shaped by local context as it is a natural response to the current trends of social, political and environmental context. These contexts change the shape of design for the current needs making it more accessible to those targeted for. It creates an innovative way for designers to continually work creative ways in making a successful design.

While design in cities may focus on the visual aspects of consumerism, others tend to create attention towards the need to live. Indonesia and its tobacco advertisements are an example of design focusing on both visual and the idea for the ‘need to live’. Social aspects of smoking are an important factor in influencing tobacco users, further highlighting the emphasis on its advertising focus towards young, cool, sporty men as a few of the ideas used to promote tobacco companies.


Tobacco companies compete to design an engaging advert towards men enticing them to buy their products. With obvious slogans like ‘Don’t Quit’ it would be difficult to discourage users about the negative effects of smoking. Companies find ways to advertise their ads in media, mainly through billboards and TV adverts. Although there are laws on for TV advertisements that only allow companies to show their TV ads only after 9:30 p.m., however cigarette logos are commonly seen through music and sporting events which is another form of adverting. The Indonesian government are somewhat lenient on the advertisement of cigarettes and the access to cigarettes. It is illegal for cigarettes to be sold to minors and pregnant women, though there is no punishment to enforce those laws.

Top left you can see a billboard advertising a tobacco brand and underneath is Kali Code [1]
The evident exposure to cigarettes start from an early age, with many advertisements being designed to create a ‘need to live’ with the visual aspects appealing young men to smoke.Colours, slogans, and young image, create a visual appealing design that is created within the context of the target group as mentioned in Kharisma Rasa Indonesia. Social context also has a hand in the design context of advertising towards smoking in Indonesia, it’s influences towards young men are high with peer pressure not helping the situation of young smokers. The amount of publicity towards these companies with billboards seen on every corner of the street or even ‘shades’ being used as advertisement is too much.


“This health clinic is a smoke free zone” [1] Located at Dr Evy Health Clinic
NGOs like Vital Strategies fight against major tobacco companies in efforts to bring forth the negative effects of smoking but also the negative impacts these companies play in young lives around Indonesia. Local governments and organisations need to work to protect the young and control the use of tobacco by limiting the power these tobacco companies have in society. Like Dr Evy mention in our meeting with her, many adult smokers have limited understanding of the effects of smoking that important to educate and inform young children the negative effects of smoking at an early age to have a better understanding of the negative effects of smoking.



Public Radio International 2012, The Number of Children Smoking In Indonesia is Getting Out of Control, viewed 15th February 2017,<>

Jakarta Globe 2013, Smoking Among Minors Still a Major Problem in Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017,<>

Vital Strategies 2017, viewed on 13th February 2017, <>

Jakarta Post 2016, Indonesia on track to world’s highest smoking rates, Jakarta, viewed 9 February 2017, <>

Vital Strategies – Tobacco Atlas 2015, Country Fact Sheet – Indonesia, viewed 9 February 2017, <>


Kharisma Rasa Indonesia 2007, That Charismatic Indonesian Feeling’: Cigarette Billboard advertising in the city of Yogyakarta, pp. 2


[1] Rachel Hansen

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