Post A: Influencing the #WrongDecision

Social media influencers have a particular responsibility to ensure they are endorsing what is ethical and moral, especially considering their vastly youthful and heavily impressionable audiences. Those who make the conscience decision to provide sustenance to the tobacco industry via social media enable its continuous growth, as online promotional material is becoming exponentially more effective.

Stakeholder Map

A recent study into the intensity of tobacco promotion behaviours revealed the frequent use of obscured use of images and hashtags, that may not directly advertise cigarettes (Astuti, P.A.S. et al 2019). Despite the recent crackdown efforts of Indonesia’s communications minister Johnny G. Plate to ‘cull cigarette advertising content on the internet’ (Silviana, C. Potkin, F. 2019), there remains an alarming amount of events catered to Indonesia’s youth, heavily sponsored by tobacco companies. One of Indonesia’s largest tobacco manufacturers Gudang Garam has cultivated ‘PROJAM’, which is a skateboarding and BMX event, with an Instagram following of 38.8k. Promoting exciting activities with messages such as the heroic way: #caraksatria and friendship: #temenanitu and featuring the unmistakable ‘PRO’ logo in almost every photo, surrounded by full of life and energetic scenarios. There is no doubt here of the companies clever infiltration to the youth of Indonesia through this online means. Instagram page with use of #temenanitu meaning friendship (, 2019)

Designers and creative culture makers, along with every other individual, can determine their own moral standpoint in support or disapproval of the tobacco industry and have the ability to utilise their stance and influence for the better or worse. Influencers can be an agent for change by being open and honest with their sponsorships, which can spark a chain reaction, and create opportunity for sincere discourse among tobacco companies, influencers and their audiences. The dangers of enticing the next generation of smokers through non-overt ads as seen below have only seen the beginnings, and it isn’t easy to predict how far this can be taken (Garcia, F. 2019).

Subtle cigarette ad. The brand wasn’t tagged nor mentioned in the Facebook post. (Amin, A. 2018)

Indonesia’s political stance is one of the most significant barriers for change amongst designers, creatives and stakeholders, as there are few restrictions on tobacco advertising in Indonesia, as the nation is yet to sign the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (Bachelard, M. Stark, J. 2012). Meaning that no matter how hard designers alike try, the unwavering endeavours of the tobacco giants will remain. However, through the careful consideration of their intended audiences and how they react to different mediums, designers and creative culture makers located in Yogyakarta and surrounds, can work to spark positive change for the long term.


Amin, A. 2018, Have it all’, Facebook, 6 April, viewed 20th December 2019, <>&nbsp;

Astuti, P.A.S. Kurniasari, N.M.D, Mulyawan, K.H. Sebayang, S.K. Freeman, B. 2019, ‘From glass boxes to social media engagement: an audit of tobacco retail marketing in Indonesia’, Tobacco control, vol. 10, no. 11, pp. 1-8.

Bachelard, M. Stark, J. 2012, ‘In Indonesia, big tobacco hasn’t got a worry’, The Sydney morning herald, 26 August, viewed 20th December 2019, <>&nbsp;

Garcia, F. 2019, ‘How the tobacco industry targets young people with social media influencers’, Dazed, 13 February, viewed 20th December 2019, <>&nbsp;

Hurt, R.D. Ebbert, J.O. Achadi, A. Croghan, I.T. 2011, ‘Roadmap to a tobacco epidemic: transnational tobacco companies invade Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 306-312.

McCormack, A. 2018, ‘Big tobacco are using Instagram influencers to advertise cigarettes, advocates warn’, ABC triple j hack, 3 September, viewed 20th December 2019, <;, 2018, ‘Collision’, Instagram, 29 March, viewed 20th December 2019, <>&nbsp;

Silviana, C. Potkin, F. 2019, ‘Indonesia cracks down on online tobacco ads to deter young smokers’, Reuters, 14 June, viewed 20th December 2019, <;

Witabora, J. Adidharma, K.S. Luzar, L.C. Meilani, M. Soedarso, N. 2016, ‘Usability, design, and content issues of mobile apps for Indonesia cultural art promotion: A Balinese mask’,  Humanoira, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 427-439.

Post C: This is Tobacco Manifest

In the inescapable surroundings of secondhand smoke, inundation of advertising and ash trays at almost every dinner table, there are flickers of hope. My flicker of hope came in the form of my conversation with Aisha Putri, an 18 year old international studies student I met by chance in Malioboro as I asked her for some directions. 

Every single day, over 15 million children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes (Salih, S.K. Mukhtar, B.I. 2011) and Aisha is one of those unfortunately making this statistic a harsh reality. All of the significant male figures in her life are smokers, the most alarming of them all being her younger brother who is only 16. Aisha said she thought he would never be a smoker but that was until she caught him with his friends. A study into the behaviour of young male smokers going to school in Semarang, Indonesia, outlines that they are 4 times more likely to smoke if their best friend does (Smet, B. et al 1999) and this is the case for Aisha’s younger brother. 

I then asked how would she feel if she could make her father, brother, uncles and cousins stop smoking. The way in which her face lit up and body relaxed as she said “It would make me very happy” demonstrates just how imperative change is in Indonesia’s tobacco culture. Her first reason being the pollution it causes. 

“People don’t consider their surroundings and just do it everywhere, even if there’s a kid around them.” 

We then discussed how tobacco advertising is banned in Australia, and despite the fact that she would be very thankful if that was the case in Indonesia, she immediately saw why there are no such regulations. Aisha contemplated for a short moment, but came to a conclusion that the advertising is there to take advantage of people, to take their money and to continue the dominance of the tobacco industry in Indonesia. 

The manifestation of tobacco advertising in Aisha’s life is alarming. She said that every chance the tobacco companies get, they take. From TV, social media, in restaurants, shopfronts, billboards… you name it, it’s there. To capture attention of consumers, visual recall is vital, specifically in the form of corporate symbols, visual identity and slogans (Mallia, K. L. 2009), and is utilised by Indonesian tobacco giants to consistently take hold of their consumer. 

My invaluable conversation with Aisha cemented alarming research I wanted to believe wasn’t true. Listening to her first hand experience of a lifetimes worth of inundation in Indonesia’s tobacco culture provided me with a significant starting point to work from, in order to begin to design out the wicked tobacco problem.

Aisha, to the right of myself, with 2 of her friends in Malioboro.


Mallia, K. L. 2009, ‘From the sacred to the profane: a critical analysis of the changing nature of religious imagery in advertising’, Journal of media and religion, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 172-190. 

Salih, S.K. Mukhtar, B.I. 2011, ‘Effects of passive smoking on children’s health’, Sudan journal of medical sciences, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 131-136. 

Smet, B. Maes, L. De Clerca, L. Haryanti, K. Winarno, R.D. 1999, ‘Determinants of smoking behaviour among adolescents in Semarang, Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 186-191. 

My name is Yama

My name is Yama Farras. I am 19 years old. I study International Communications at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.

It is the year 2019, and Yama is in his first year of university. Still trying to navigate the waters of full time study, he relies on his group of friends he has already made to make the experience a little easier.

His campus UMY is a smoke free environment, but pretty much everyone thinks the warnings aren’t effective enough and it shows. Yama and his mates smoke quite abit in the parking lot and in any other private place around campus.

Oi oi oi, Yama put your smokes away, there’s a lecturer coming

He made it safely this time. If communications students get caught smoking on campus, they have to sign a form saying that they won’t do it again. It’s just like a warning really.

At home, Yama lives with his Father Desi, who has smoked for as long as he can remember, his mother Dania who he has never seen smoke, his 16 year old sister and his 12 year old brother.

Even though throughout school he learnt about smoking and its effects, Yama still feels the obligation to smoke, due to looking up to his father and the pressure from his friends.

I know it’s not good for me but there’s something about it I can’t help. It makes me feel relaxed when I’m stressed. It’s something to do with my friends when we hang out.

2021 comes around and the smoke free campus committee have really been turning things around. There are multiple murals around campus, a comic that goes out every month, and a noticeable change in mindset around the stigma of smoking.

A more subliminal approach has led to a better understanding of the effects of smoking, as the messages conveyed are subconsciously read and acted upon.

Something really good has happened the past 2 years. Me and some of the boys always have a look at those comics when they come out. Smoke free campus is starting to work. I also met the girl of my dreams. Her name is Riyan.

Fast forward another 2 years and Yama has experienced some of the biggest ups and downs in his life.

Between finishing uni and marrying Riyan, he was feeling on top of the world until lung cancer got the best of his father Desi.

I got thinking to those years back at uni and how I started to come around to the smoke free campus at the end. I feel like now is the right time to do something.

Over the next 3 years, Yama smoked extremely rarely, and only when he felt very pressured in social situations. He even began to refuse the pressure eventually.

2026 came around and Yama smoked the last cigarette he ever would. He and Riyan were expecting their first child, Mirza, who came into the world in 2027.

Another addition to the family arrived 2 years later, a beautiful girl by the name of Aming. It is around this time that Yama returned to UMY helping with their smoke free initiative in his spare time.

Motivated by his own change of heart those few years ago, Yama believes that he can help change the mindset, particularly of young men, in such a crucial part of their lives.

Wanting to build the family even more, Efran was born in 2032, as happy and healthy as can be.

Mirza is now 6 years old and has started to make the connections between seeing smoking on the street and watching forgeign movies on TV.

Hey Dad, how come you don’t smoke?

After Yama explained his story, Mirza promised he would never smoke. Inspired by his dad in protecting his mind, body and soul forever.

The year is 2039. Aming is now 10 years old and wants to be just like her Dad and go to UMY to study.

Yama’s continuous volunteering has made every Universitas Muhammadiyah campus successfully smoke free.

My name is Yama Farras. I am 19 years old. I study International Communications at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.

It is the year 2019 and Yama is in his first year of university. Still trying to navigate the waters of full time study, he relies on his group of friends he has already made to make the experience a little easier.

His campus UMY is a smoke free environment, but Yama doesn’t care to acknowledge it. He carelessly smokes in the parking lot and places around campus that maybe aren’t so hidden.

Oi, oi oi, Yama put your smokes away, there’s a lecturer coming.

Except Yama doesn’t care. He’s already on 3 warnings, but the warnings are the only punishment, so he sees no real repercussions.

At home Yama lives with his father Desi, who has smoked for as long as he can remember, his mother Dania who he has never seen smoke, his 16 year old sister and his 12 year old brother.

Even though throughout school he learnt about smoking and its effects, he never paid attention. Yama feels the obligation to smoke, due to his father and the pressure from his friends if he didn’t.

It’s probably not even that bad for me and everyone does it anyway. All the people I know who smokes are fine.

2021 comes around and the smoke free campus thinks they have turned things around, except Yama and his friends still aren’t on the same page. The small no smoking signs and the insignificant repercussions have little effect on Yama’s mindset.

They keep on trying and trying but this no smoking thing is never going to work. It doesn’t matter though, I don’t need to quit because my girlfriend Riyan is all I need.

Fast forward another 2 years and Yama has felt some of the biggest ups and downs in his life.

Between finishing uni and marrying Riyan, he was feeling on top of the world until lung cancer got the best of his father Desi.

I mean I know I should quit. I no longer remember a time when I didn’t smoke. It just helps I guess.

Over the next 3 years, Yama smoked occasionally at home, but whenever he got the opportunity to smoke socially he would.

2028 came around and the pressure of his first year of fatherhood became a little too overwhelming, leading to him finding comfort in smoking regularly again.

Another addition into the family arrived in 2029. A beautiful girl by the name of Aming. During this time he becomes a workaholic and avoids spending time at home. His days working as a political risk analyst is spent surrounded by a cloud of smoke.

In attempts of filling the house up more, Yama and Riyan began trying for another child. However this proved difficult.

They discovered that due to the passive second hand smoke that Riyan has been surrounded by throughout both her child and adulthood, the chances of conceiving another child would be slim.

The arguments that Yama and Riyan would have about the affects of his smoking began to take effect on the children. Mirza especially.

A happy surprise came along in 2032, as Efran was born.

He filled the house with such joy, for only one short year.

Yama I think its time to stop. Your time was cut short with your father, think about Mirza and Aming. I beg of you.

Acting out for attention, Mirza would rebel and not come home from school for hours after it finished. He would sometimes smoke with his friends after school if they happened to find or steal cigarettes. He’s only 8 years old.

The year is 2039. Yama comes home heartbroken. Cancer in the lungs. His time with his wife and children will be cut short.

His name was Yama Farras. He was 38 years old.

This parallel journey of Yama is not only a story. It is a speculative design tool that can be used to design in this future landscape. Through the trials and tribulations of both the utopian and dystopian version of his stories, explored are the possibilities of the future.

It was presented as part of a global design studio conducted by design students of the University of Technology Sydney, based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as an effort to solve the wicked tobacco problem.

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, <>

Post B: The Dark Side of Tanning

Australia is the home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, consequently, it also has one of the highest amounts of skin cancer and mortality rates across the globe. The 1980s saw the beginnings of social marketing campaigns Australia-wide to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and means to prevent it, marking the start of the ongoing efforts to prompt change in the behaviours and attitudes of the population.

Lead by the Cancer Institute of NSW, ‘The Dark Side of Tanning’ (‘DSOT’) campaign was introduced in 2007 in order to challenge pro-tanning attitudes specifically amongst young Australians between the ages of 15 and 29. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in this demographic (Sinclair, C. & Foley, P. 2009) with the main goal of the campaign striving to eradicate the perception that a tan is healthy.

The DSOT campaign’s primary channel were 3 television ads displaying the mundane activities of young Australians both at the beach and playing footy. Following these advertisements were also posters, billboards, bus sides and bus shelters of the 3 individuals seen in the television ads. With alarming imagery of skin cells being attacked by melanoma and noteworthy slogans such as there’s nothing healthy about a tan and tanning is skin cells in trauma, the campaign successfully reached its target audience. Those aged 13-24 were more likely to recall these advertisements in comparison to the older respondents of the interviews and surveys conducted (Perez, D. 2015).

1/3 television advertisements of the DSOT campaign, featuring an Australian surfer and the risks of tanning even before you start to burn.

Across NSW, 100 interviews, along with online surveys, were conducted per week in the warmer months of November to March of 2007-11 to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. The most significant finding supported favourable change in adolescent attitudes towards desiring a suntan dropped from 60% at the commencement of the campaign to 45% by 2011 (Iannacone, M. R. & Green, A. 2014).

The particular aspect of the DSOT campaign showing Australians in typical everyday environments is a tool that can be both applied universally and to the tobacco control design. As the viewers are able to resonate deeply to what they are seeing, they are therefore prompted to make change in their lifestyle, as it has great potential to hit close to home.

Poster of the female individual featured across the DSOT campaign with a simple yet effective slogan.

Significant changes to a more negative attitude towards tanning was a success in the continuous fight against the perception of a safe and healthy tan, highlighting the importance of the mass media campaign The Dark Side of Tanning.  


Author Unknown, 2015, ‘Recent research from cancer council highlighting findings in cancer prevention’, Education Business Weekly, 6 May. <>

Cancer Institute NSW, 2018, Dark side of tanning campaign, NSW Government, viewed 20th November 2019, <>

Cancer Institute NSW, 2009, Skin cells in trauma poster, NSW Government, viewed 21st November 2019, <>

CancerNSW, 2010, There’s nothing healthy about a tan, viewed 20th November 2019, <>

Iannacone, M. R. & Green, A. 2014, ‘Towards skin cancer prevention and early detection’, Melanoma management, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 75-84. <>

Perez, D. 2015, ‘Exposure to ‘the dark side of tanning’ skin cancer prevention mass media campaign and its association with tanning attitudes in NSW, Australia’, Health Education Research, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 336-346. <>

Sinclair, C. & Foley, P. 2009, ‘Skin cancer prevention in Australia’, British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 161, no. 1, pp. 116-123. <>