Post A: Alcohol and Tobacco

There are different activities can develop to cultural norms that in countries through years of tradition and participation by individuals the population. Indonesia is a country with one of the highest prevalence of smoking with 64% of males smoking and has developed a significant culture and identity around tobacco related products. As well as it is supporting the economy within the country. Similarly, Australia has established a significant alcohol-based culture an identity that is embedded in most social activities and situations. Australian drinking culture much like Indonesian smoking culture permeates a range of areas in everyday life; social, workplace, sporting, tv/advertising and family.

The cultural insignificance within these countries relates heavily to the social aspect that coincides with the consumption of these products. In Australia most, social situations coincide with alcohol consumption; its used as a celebration, a form or relaxation and a way to connect with new or old friends, to build relationships. An idea which is communicated through advertising and branding of the companies. The harmful drinking culture within Australia is normalised through the contributions of alcohol advertising. Figure one is just one example of the subliminal messages hidden within the advertisements.

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Figure 1:

There is a prominent industry which is built around the prevalence of this culture, pubs, clubs and bars make up a vast majority of income within the hospitality industry. The alcohol and beverage industry employees a total of around 400,000 people, with a total economic contribution of 19 billion and a further 5 billion in tax (according to the Alcoholic beverages Australia). These figures highlight drinking as more than just an activity that the population participates in. Rather it is a part of a much bigger industry which contributes heavily to the economic stability of the country.

Economic dependence on an industry can be seen in Australia to an extent, this can also be seen with companies desire to keep the developed culture alive. This economic dependence is astronomic within Indonesia when speaking about the Tobacco industry. the industry makes up a significant portion of the countries income, which is reflective in the lack of anti-smoking legislation and enforcement as well as the prevalence of cigarette advertising. As a designer the subliminal message which are delivered to venerable or impressionable individuals are clear (figure 2). Additionally, as a practising designer there is a responsibility which exists when creating images and experiences which target these vulnerable groups. Ideally one would use design as a tool to incite change within a harmful culture rather than contributing to an ingrained issue.

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Figure 2:


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018, Alcohol Overview – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Viewed 18 Dec. 2018 <>, 2018, Viewed 18 Dec 2018 <>

Ahsan. A, Adioetomo. S, Barber. S, Setyonaluri. D. 2008. Tobacco Economics in Indonesia. Bloomberg Philanthopies, Viewed 18 Dec 2018

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