PROJECT: Group Durian: Untangling the wicked problem of tobacco in Indonesia

Indonesia is an incredibly interesting space to be in with tobacco influencing many, many faucets of Indonesia’s complex economy, social nuances and cultural mentalities. There is no single solution to tackle such a large and complex issue however there are many aspects of life, here in Indonesia, that one might argue could be improved without the presence of tobacco.

Key insights are rarely found in books – but instead hidden in the conversations with locals, the backends of streets and deep within the art and spirit of the city. The insights we found most valuable are as follows:

  1. Masculinity and Tradition: Smoking in Indonesia is almost exclusively for males, as they make up 62% of the smoking population whilst only 1-3% of women are smokers (Rosemary, 2018). Our interviews with students at ITS highlighted the way in which tobacco is engrained in Javanese tradition, which allows for its normalisation and stigmas surrounding those who choose not to smoke. The young individuals found that males who did not smoke were seen as less masculine or incapable of socialising, with teenage boys stating that “If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man.” (Aditama, 2002)

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  1. The importance and strength of communities: The Kampung,  Warna Warni, is a slum located on the riverbank. Working with a local university and a paint company they repainted the village with colour (Indo Indians 2017). The way in which colour is used has transformed the way people behave and interact in the space, changing social attitudes towards the slum area and empower the spirit of creativity in Indonesia and revealing the nations deeper values of diversity and unity (Putri 2018).

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  1. The lack of community for non-smokers: Smoking is socially accepted by most Indonesians and with many public spaces facilitating social interaction around smoking culture. In contrast, non-smokers seem to not get the same privilege as smokers, as there are rarely smoke-free areas for non smokers in public spaces.

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From this, our campaign stemmed. In a singular sentence, we want to change the role tobacco plays within Indonesia’s narrative and normalise non-smoking. We aim to achieve this by giving smokers tools to quit but even deeper than this we want to create a place for non-smokers in Indonesia. This means more non-smoking spaces, it means giving non-smokers the respect and acknowledgement that they deserve when it comes to smoking around them and it means creating a community for those who choose not to use tobacco. 

Our campaign is broken down into four main aspects:

#30DayChallenge

#WristBands

#LungSymbol

#SocialMediaMovement

First of we start with #30DayChallenge movement. Projected to start on the 31st of May 2019 inline with World Tobacco Day. In essence, this is designed to be something that piggy backs off the hype from a large anti-tobacco event such as World Tobacco Day and provides a reason or time for people to begin quitting. The 30 Day challenge can also be followed on our social media movement, Suara Tanpa Rokok, which will give daily inspiration and encouragement for all those trying to quit for the month. 

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This is followed up by the wristbands movement which is the tangible symbol of this campaign. The wristbands play a couple of important roles in all of this especially when it comes to creating communities. We see three main advantages:

  • People that are trying to quit that might be feeling isolated have the ability to walk down the street and still feel part of a community by seeing others walking around also wearing the bands. 
  • It also informs smokers how to act and be respectful around those trying to quit or those that don’t want to be associated with smoke. By seeing people wearing the band we would hope people begin to learn not to offer cigarettes, or not begin smoking around these people. 
  • Finally amongst the youth, through our interview process with students we found merchandise to often attract a lot of curiosity. By sparking curiosity and sharing the wristbands through social media we also believe this will further perpetuate our campaign. 

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Following on this notion of perpetuating our movement through social media we have created a hand symbol to allow people to show the are part of a bigger movement through their varying social media platforms  (Tsotra et al., 2004). The hands represent lungs and also the connection between individuals. Its a visible gesture which will increase engagement, awareness online and shows solidarity in the community we are creating.

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The social media movement will likely be the main platform promoting this campaign. Social media promotes communities and people, shares stories, links people up, gives people a voice, allows people to feel part of something bigger and also acts as a collection of tools, resources and information to encourage, inspire and educate. 

48371920_599468713818228_6272527615270060032_n.jpgTo start creating community notions from the get go, this campaign is actually targeted at groups of people. The idea being that groups such as educational institutions, workplaces or entire geographical communities could sign up for a ‘package’, which would contain all the necessary merchandise, advertising and messages. Local businesses and vendors would also be given an opportunity to sign up from a different angle and contribute products that meet a criteria as well creating small business opportunities. All products are collated through vital strategies and then distributed to the communities and groups. Which then markets itself through social media and word of mouth.

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A typical flow of this campaign might run as follows;

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We believe that having a campaign stemming from strong primary research and reaffirmed through secondary sources that really targets communities has the chance to create real change in Indonesia’s narrative and creating accepted places for the non-smoking community. 

 

REFERENCES

Aditama, T. Y. 2002, “Smoking Problem in Indonesia”, Medical Journal of Indonesia, vol.11, no. 1, pp. 56-65.

Indo Indians 2017, Kampung Warna Warni Jodipan, a Colorful Village in Malang, viewed on 13 December, <https://www.indoindians.com/kampung-warna-warni-jodipan-a-colorful-village-in-malang/>.

Putri, E. 2018, Jodipan: Indonesia’s Amazing Rainbow Village, Culture Trip, viewed on 13 December, <https://theculturetrip.com/asia/indonesia/articles/jodipan-indonesias-amazing-rainbow-village/>.

Rosemary, R. 2018, Forbidden Smoke, Inside Indonesia, viewed on 13 December, <https://www.insideindonesia.org/forbidden-smoke>.

Tsotra, D., Janson, M. and Cecez-Kecmanovic, D. (2004). Marketing on the Internet: A Semiotic Analysis. In: Americas Conference on Information Systems. [online] New York: Association for Information Systems, pp.4211-4220. Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2102&context=amcis2004 [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].

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