Post D: Quitline v. Smokes Fine

On the Sunday that has just passed, I was sitting on the lounge with my Dad dosing off watching the V8 Supercars final in Newcastle. During the commercial break, an ad for Quitline was played, explaining to viewers how quality of life is improved after you’ve quit smoking and provides the viewer with a link to combat smoking with 10 easy steps. I soon realised that Quitline is a sponsor of the V8 Supercars, as there were plenty of trackside banners along the course.

It hit me that in exactly a week, I’ll be surrounded by advertisements of the complete opposite message and wondered if the Indonesian population have been exposed to any sort of warning of the effects of smoking, let alone to the extent that I was exposed to growing up. Disturbingly, a large amount of the general public are unaware of the hazardous nature of tobacco usage, both active and passive (Achadi et al. 2005), therefore better measures must be undertaken to ensure that more knowledge is spread.

I became curious as to how sports and tobacco relate to one another in Indonesia, and found that English footballer Rio Ferdinand, of Manchester United, was the face of a series of adverts for tobacco company Gudang Garam (Doward, J. Rogers, T. 2012). He was greatly criticised for this unhealthy campaign, as it works to cultivate younger generations of smokers.

Billboard for Gudang Garam tobacco company featuring Rio Ferdinand.

The Australian Quitline “give you small steps to help you break the habit and can support you over your quitting journey” (Quit Victoria 2019) and is recognised as an extremely crucial approach in effective assistance for smokers nationwide (Grunseit, A.C. et al. 2018). All the while, Indonesia has fundamentally no restriction on tobacco advertising, as it overlaps legal and political consideration due to financial gain and employment rates (Achadi et al. 2005).

In 1992, a census study was conducted amongst 13 863 adults living in six villages in the Cibeureum, Tasikmalaya municipality district in West Java with its conclusions predicting a future epidemic of tobacco related disease, as an alarming 84% of males and 5% of females surveyed were smokers (Ganiwijaya, T. et al. 1995). During this time, efforts governing tobacco control were minimal and it seems that this fact remains, as a quarter of a million succumb to the fatal effects of smoking annually (Tjandra, N. 2019). This frightening number can be drastically reduced as Henry Saffer and Frank Chaloupka’s international study, conducted in 2000, outlines that widespread bans on advertising, promotions and sponsorships of tobacco were vital in the efforts to minimise the consumption of tobacco while partial bans had little to no effect.

Map of Cibereum, Tasimalaya district located in West Java visualising the census data from a study documented in ‘Tobacco Control’ journal.


Achadi, A., Soerojo, W., Barber, S. 2005, ‘The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia’, Health policy, vol. 72, no. 3, pp. 333-349. <

Barber, S. Abdillah, A. 2009, ‘The tobacco excise system in Indonesia: hindering effective tobacco control for health’, Journal of public health policy, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 208-225. <>

Doward, J. Rogers, T. 2012, ‘Rio Ferdinand criticised over advert linked to Asian tobacco firm’, The guardian, 17th June. <>

Ganiwijaya, T.,Sjukrudin, E.,De Backer, G., Suhana, D., Brotoprawiro, S., Sukandar, H. 1995, ‘Prevalence of cigarette smoking in a rural area of West Java, Indonesia’, Tobacco control, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 335-337. <>

Grunseit, A.C., Gwizd, M., Lyons, C., Anderson, C., O’Hara, B.J. 2018, ‘Polite, professional, practical: What drives caller ‘satisfaction’ with the New South Wales Quitline, Australia’, Drug and alcohol review, vol. 37, April, pp. 223-234. <>

Quit Victoria, 2019, How can Quitline help?, Victoria, viewed 26th November 2019, <>

Saffer, H. Chaloupka, F. 2000, ‘The effect of tobacco advertising bans on tobacco consumption’, Journal of health economics, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 1117-1137. <>

Tjandra, N. 2018, ‘ ‘Disneyland big for tobacco’: how Indonesia’s lax smoking laws are helping the next generation to get hooked’, The conversation, 1st June, viewed 26th November 2019. <>

Unknown Author, 2012, Gudang Garam billboard with Rio Ferdinand, VTC news, viewed 26th November 2019, <>

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