POST C: Finding the truth of this non-smoking campus

Our group’s project is to study the tobacco problem in UMY. So, we did observations and interviews in the UMY campus. I picked up some details when I was making observations on the campus. For example, there are many non-smoking signs on the campus. I found many no-smoking signs on the walls and pillars. No-smoking signs were also found in the student activity area behind the main building. This is a smoke-free campus. Through research, we learned that national policies of Indonesia include: Prohibit smoking on public transit and in healthcare facilities, educational facilities, and places of worship (The Union, 2019). The Faculty of Sociology and Politics, University of Indonesia (UI) has announced that the UI has become a 100% smoke-free campus (SEATCA, 2019). The policy of banning smoking in universities can effectively educate students about the dangers of smoking and protect the health of non-smokers. It’s a very good rule. But I still have a question, will the students strictly abide by the smoking rules? So, I interviewed three kinds of people: a female student, two male students, and a tutor.


That girl, Ayu, is a non-smoker. She said there is no smoker in her family, so neither she nor her brother is a smoker. This reminds me of the previous research on children’s smoking. Most children and teenagers’ smokers are influenced by their families. At the same time, she says, many of her peers started smoking at age 8. This just shows the serious problem of underage smoking in Indonesia. When I asked Ayu is the smoking signs in her school are working well, she hesitated for a moment before replying: “These smoking signs are not useful.” She was resigned to the situation.

The second interviewer is two boys who often smoking. They were coming merrily down the corridor. I quickly stopped them to ask about the smoking problem on campus. They said they had just finished smoking and were ready to return to class. I was very surprised. They say many classmates will smoke on campus and few will ban smoking. “Because there is no punishment for smoking at all.” said one of the boys. Another boy said his reason for smoking was to fit in with classmates and friends. In Indonesia, smoking is a social tool among boys. If you can’t smoke, you’re not a ‘cool guy’. That reason brings us to a solution. Perhaps, through the design, we can change the way that people think about smoking, and provide these students with an alternative to smoking?

The third interviewer was a tutor. We told him gently that there was smoking on campus. However, he was not surprised at all. He said that he tried to stop it yet, but he can’t change anything. The school doesn’t have any punishment for smoking. The education bureau does not allow them to take any form of punishment. And that gives us a little bit of inspiration. Designers can ‘reward’ students for choosing not to smoke.

I think these three interviews are very important, they help us to know more about the truth of the smoking status on campus and combine these realities to design. In order to change the long-term smoking status in Indonesia and protect the health of non-smokers, society and universities must implement smoke-free policies (Kaufman, Merritt, Rimbatmaja and Cohen, 2014). So, we decided to combine this information to design a truly smoke-free campus.


Dhumieres, M. 2013, The number of children smoking in Indonesia is getting out of control, Public Radio International. viewed 18 December 2019, <;.

Kaufman, M., Merritt, A., Rimbatmaja, R. and Cohen, J. 2014, ‘Excuse me, sir. Please don’t smoke here’. A qualitative study of social enforcement of smoke-free policies in Indonesia, Health Policy and Planning, vol 30, no 8, pp.995-1002, viewed <;.

SEATCA 2019, University of Indonesia has become a 100% smoke-free campus – Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, viewed 18 December 2019, <;.

The Union 2019, Indonesia, viewed 18 December 2019, <;.

Post D: Tobacco industry dominates Indonesia

Known to have rudimentary tobacco control policies, Indonesia ranks highly among countries with the highest tobacco consumption statistics globally. With rampant and prevalent tobacco advertisement and promotion highly visible in all media, the lax enforcement of legislative policies in Indonesia has resulted in detrimental consequences to their peoples’ health. The only Asia-Pacific country that has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Indonesia’s public health standards suffer as the country’s government fails to protect its citizens. 

Vital Stategies #SuaraTanpaRokok campaign targeting tobacco promotion in Indonesia (Vital Strategies, 2018).

With tobacco advertising ‘among the most innovative and aggressive in the world’ (Sebayang et al., 2012), Indonesia is evidently dominated by the tobacco industry. As advertisements and promotion for tobacco fill the streets of cities like Yogyakarta, larger companies have relentlessly implemented brand imagery and advertisement on billboards, television, in magazines, sponsorship, events, activities, interactive media and more (Prabandari and Dewi, 2016). With so much focus on advertisement is has undeniably become inevitable that the increase of smoking prevalence among the younger generation in Indonesia has increased rapidly over the years. It is said that in 2007, 99.7% of the Indonesian youth revealed to have seen tobacco promotion on television, 87% on billboards, 76% on print mediums and 81% had attended at least one event sponsored by the tobacco industry within their lifetime (Prabandari and Dewi, 2016).

Map of Yogyakarta, visual representation of tobacco promotion exposure to the youth of Indonesia (Data from Prabandari and Dewi, 2016.)

Intertwined between the legal, political and economic factors and considerations of Indonesia, the power of tobacco production within Indonesia contributes to being one of the largest sources of government revenue after gas and oil (Nichter et al., 2008). Often advertised and claimed to be a part of the culture, the Indonesian tobacco industry is decentralised as the cigarette excise taxes are one of the most important sources of national revenue, generating approximately 28 trillion rupiah ($4.2 billion US dollars) in 2006 (Nichter et al., 2008). A lack of initiative to change policies to better tobacco control within the country, the Minister of Finance stated that he ‘sympathise[s] with the idea of getting people to stop smoking, but for now, the cost is too high’ (Nichter et al., 2008).

A change that will require a strong will power from the country’s leaders, it is now more than ever that Indonesia needs to create and enforce anti-tobacco policies and legislations on a national and international level. A push for behavioural change needs to be implemented in order to save the younger generations from the harmful impacts of nicotine addiction and tobacco dependence.


Achadi, A., Soerojo, W. and Barber, S. 2004, The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia, Science Direct, pp.333-350, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Indonesia – Tobacco Atlas 2019, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

McCall, C. 2014, Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia, The Lancet, vol 384, no 9951, pp.1335-1336, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. and Nichter, M. 2008, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, Tobacco Control, vol 18, no 2, pp.98-107, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. and Nichter, M. 2008, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, Tobacco Control, vol 18, no 2, pp.98-107, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Prabandari, Y. and Dewi, A. 2016, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students, Global Health Action, vol 9, no 1, p.30914, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Sebayang, S., Rosemary, R., Widiatmoko, D., Mohamad, K. and Trisnantoro, L. 2012, Better to die than to leave a friend behind: industry strategy to reach the young, Tobacco Control 2012, pp.370-372, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Vital Strategies 2018, #SuaraTanpaRokok, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Post B: Giving the middle finger to HIV.

In the context of a global aids epidemic, with NGO’s struggling to resonate with youth culture; the solution required an intouch, radical and experimental approach. A top down approach from MTV was wildly successful in sparking conversation while involving this criteria in a simpe well devised add campaign, utilizing a 21st century social media frenzy through their hashtag ‘FCKHIV’. (WPPedCream 2017, 2019) Credited to the agency, Ogilvy Johannesburg in coordination with brand name Viacom and MTV the campaign went on to win numerous awards and spark roughly 6.8milion impressions within the first 5 hours, trending as the top hashtag on world aids day on twitter (One Nation Studios, 2019).

The success of this campaign from a design and marketing perspective is due to a couple of simplistic but highly effective variables. Firstly connection, this campaign (in reflection of the video <> quickly identifies itself as an expressive, radical and in touch piece of production. Using traditional film footage in the beginning and subverting it’s serious undertones with bold bright and almost rude text, notably the ‘blah, blah, blah blah’, completely changes the tone and feeling, thus setting a new precinct with correct emotional undertones for the movement to be built on (, 2019)., 2019

In it’s first phase (upon release in 2016) timing was key. The campaign was executed during the month of December, a consistent date set for youth in Africa to party hard, and perfectly in alightment with World Aids Day (, 2019).

In the productions final form the campaign took another radical approach in 2017. Taking the contextually relevant imagery of sperm and juxtaposing its contents with it’s message through a vibrant colourful layout of sperm, blocky but contemporary abstract shapes and big bold but playful typography illustrating the core message, ‘#FCK HIV’ (, 2019).

Apart of the solution involved interdisplenary coordination. This further addresses issues around cultural disconnection and the previous problem with connecting to youth. To address this Ogilvy “ took MTV’s animation art direction and fused it with an underground South African music genre called, Gqom.” Thus we have a highly successful and multi displenary campaign, utilising the hyper digital platform of social media and some clever design to potentially treat thousands of individuals while simultaneously reverting and removing stigma around the global monster known as HIV.

In response to the brief itself, I believe this campaign sets a perfect precedence of thinking for our Indonesia task. Specifically the notions of empathy, understanding and practicality in terms of conection and an in touch attitude and timeless design in consideration of cultural history and current status quoe (, 2019).


Anon, (2019). [online] Available at:;) [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Behance. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Welcome | Ogilvy South Africa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

One Nation Studios. (2019). One Nation Studios – Channel O Absolute V3. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). VIACOM | Ogilvy | MTV #FCKHIV | WE LOVE AD. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

WPPedCream 2017. (2019). MTV #FCKHIV. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Post D : Young smokers in Yogyakarta

Daerah Ibukota Yogyakarta is Java island’s soul, where the Javanese language is the purest (Lonely Planet, 2019). Yogya or often written as Jogja is one of the most active cultural centers in Indonesia. Behind the beauty of its nature and the exotic culinary, Yogyakarta is a city where young active smokers are often found (Octavia, 2017). Research in 2005 suggests that the percentage of young active smokers in Indonesia is 38% among boys and 5.3% among girls (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). Fast forward to 2013, another research done shows that the percentage of daily smokers has grown, and in Yogyakarta itself has reached 21.2% (Octavia, 2017). Based on research, smokers in Yogyakarta consist of two categories, one is the experimental smoker, and the other one is a regular smoker (Marwati, 2011).

The beauty of companionship: School children spend time in a convenience store in Pejaten, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta. Some of the teens enjoy smoking while chatting.
( Burhaini Faizal)

What are the factors that may lead to a growing number of young smokers?

Indonesia itself is the top fifth tobacco consuming countries in the world (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006), and is the second-largest cigarette market in Asia (Indonesia Investments, 2016). This may happen as tobacco companies in Indonesia have a huge political and financial impact on the country, and are the government’s top five largest sources of revenue (Reynolds, 1999). The tobacco industry itself is very strong, as it employs more than 11 million workers and is the second-largest employer after the government (Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009). 

Another article suggests that a study revealed that youths perceived cigarette ads as encouraging them to smoke (Prabandari & Dewi 2016). Cigarette advertising can be found anywhere in Indonesia, starting from television, big billboard over the highway, magazines, and even newspapers. Besides advertisements, movies that show scenes that expose the act of smoking may be one of the encouraging factors for youngsters to smoke (Prabandari & Dewi 2016), just like how children often mimic their parents’ behavior. 

A smoking advertisement on a billboard shared by Sebastian Strangio on Twitter.

Tarwoto (2010) suggests that some factors that may lead to the habit of smoking are social status, the pressure of colleagues, the influence of parents who smoke, and the belief that smoking will not affect health. Besides all that, Indonesia has a lack of tobacco control, as it is stated that this country is behind in terms of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control signature and ratification (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). 

Is there any effort done to tackle this problem?

Many have been done in order to reduce young smokers in Indonesia. One very good example that was done in Yogyakarta by one researcher, was launching a smoke-free home activity back in 2011 in 9 neighborhoods in Yogyakarta (Marwati, 2011). Smoke-free signs were put on every house, but this doesn’t mean that it forbids people to smoke, but rather to appeal to smokers to provide fresh air for other people (Marwati, 2011).

Map of Central Java, where Yogyakarta, the city where I did my research, is highlighted.

Reference Lists:

Faizal, E. B, 2016, Social media plays role in youth smoking, says expert, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Indonesia Investments, 2016, Tobacco & Cigarette Industry Indonesia, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Lonely Planet, 2019, Welcome to Yogyakarta, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Marwati, 2011, 16 Percent of Junior and Senior High School Students in Yogyakarta City are Smokers, viewed 22 November 2019, <>.

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Öhman, 2006, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 6, pp 794–804, viewed 22 November 2019, <>.

Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 02, pp 98-107, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Octavia, A. A, 2017, Meningkatnya Perokok Aktif Remaja di Yogyakarta (The increasing number of teenage active smokers in Yogyakarta), Kompasiana, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Prabandari, Y. S. & Dewi, A. 2016, ‘How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students’, Global Health Action, vol. 9, no. 01, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Reynolds, C. 1999, ‘Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”’, Tobacco Control, vol. 8, pp 85-88. viewed 22 November 2019, <>.

Strangio, S. 2017, This cigarette advertisement in #Yogyakarta urges smokers to “never quit” #Indonesia, Twitter, viewed 22 November 2019, <>.

Tarwoto, 2010. Kesehatan Remaja : Problem dan Solusinya, Salemba Medika, Jakarta, viewed 21 November 2019, <>.

Post B: Success in Plain Packaging

On 29 April 2010, the Australian Government made an important decision to introduce mandatory plain packaging of all tobacco products by 2012. I was only 15 at the time, but I welcomed this change. I had lost my grandmother 6 months prior to complications brought about by emphysema. For years, I watched her suffer as she continued to puff away on her packs of ‘Peter Stuyvesant’s’. With each inhale, the false promise of glamour and beauty once paraded about by the ads on television, scattered away into the distance. Instead, I watched the damaging effects of cigarettes as they slowly took the life of my grandmother.


‘Before and after photos of cigarette packs from Australia, where plain packaging was introduced in 2012’ (Hammond, 2016)

Since the introduction of plain packaging, all tobacco products now come with a confronting health warning in the form of a graphic image, as part of the campaign to reduce the rate of smoking within Australia. Funded by the government, the method behind the campaign is to ‘shock’ viewers. A study on the effectiveness of ‘shock tactics’ in advertisement, determined that the use of shocking imagery by organisations was “…deemed successful at capturing the audience’s attention”. (Jones, Parry, Robinson, Stern, 2013) Click for article.

Furthermore, the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the successful impact of plain packaging in Australia: “…Since 1995, the proportion of adults who are daily smokers has decreased from 23.8% to 13.8% in 2017-18.” (ABS, 2019)  Click to visit website.

Another study carried out, looked at links between the introduction of plain packaging in Australia and Quitline calls. Results showed that there was a “78% increase in the number of calls to the Quitline, associated with the introduction of plain packaging”. (Currow, Dessaix, Dobbins, Dunlop, Stacey, Young, 2014) Click for article.

In the early stages and still today, the government has been met with strong opposition, from Big Tobacco, members of the World Trade Organization and Australian retailers. Those opposed, were concerned that other countries would see the success of the plain packaging campaign, and would want to implement their own, thus industry profits would suffer. “Once even one country with a population of 23 million showed that plain packaging could be implemented, others would see it as something feasible”. (Chapman, Freeman, 2014)

The success of the plain packaging campaign in Australia shows a method that could be applied universally through a transdisciplinary approach.

Although my grandmother did not live long enough to see the changes brought about by the introduction of plain packaging, she would have been happy to see its success.



Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, National Health Survey: First Results, Australia, February 2019, cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, ABS, Canberra, viewed 16 November 2019,

Australian Government Department of Health, 2019, Tobacco plain packaging, Canberra, viewed 16 November 2019,

Brenna, E., Coomber, K., Durkin, S., Scollo, M., Wakefielf, M. & Zacher, M. 2019, Tobacco Control, BMJ Journals, vol. 24, no. 2, viewed 17 November 2019,

Chapman, S. & Freeman, B. 2014, Removing the Emperors Clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging, 1stedn, Sydney University Press, Sydney.

Hammond, D. 2016, Before and after photos of cigarette packs from Australia, where plain packaging was introduced in 2012, Vox, viewed 18 November 2019,

Jones, R., S., Robinson, M. & Stern, P. 2013, ‘Shockvertising’: An exploratory investigation into attitudinal variations and emotional reactions to shock advertising, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 12, no. 2, viewed 17 November 2019,

Pursuit, 2018, Big tobacco vs Australia’s plain packaging, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, viewed 15 November 2019,

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2019, Protocol, Geneva, viewed 16 November 2019,

Young, J., Stacey, I., Dobbins, T., Dunlop, S., Dessaix, A. & Currow, D. 2014, Association between tobacco plain packaging and Quitline calls: a population-based, interrupted time-series analysis, The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 200, no. 1, viewed 17 November 2019,

POST B: Stoptober – a case study

In 2012 the English Department of Health designed a campaign called ‘Stoptober’, which focuses on the psychological principles underpinning tobacco use…


Studies reveal the effectiveness of mass media anti-smoking campaigns (Bala et al., 2008, 2012) and studies that compare different message types find that harm focused messages have a higher impact than those with an ‘anti-industry or how-to-quit-themes’ (Durkin et al., 2012). In 2012 the English Department of Health designed a campaign called ‘Stoptober’, which focuses on the psychological principles underpinning tobacco use, aiming to create a positive mass quitting trigger, an area which Durkin et al. (2012) shows there has been little research done on the effectiveness. The name itself, ‘Stoptober’, was designed to build engagement with the public through the association with other popular national events such as ‘Movember’ and to increase awareness on social media. The campaign was seen in a combination of traditional media such as TV, print, radio, online advertising and digital platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with the aim to create a social movement around a specific activity, stopping smoking for 28 days.

The main psychological principles which the campaign underpinned its components included:

The campaign used both top-down strategies, with advertising and public relations as well as bottom-up strategies, with its peer networking and support services. The results of the campaign show that more than 300,000 people took part in the campaign in 2012 and the overall estimate of past-month quitting was calculated to be 4.15%, being most cost-effective for the modal 35-44 year-old group, with an ICER (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio) of £414.26 (Brown et al., 2014). As a public health campaign, the cost-effectiveness of Stoptober compared favourably with other estimates concerning UK anti-tobacco campaigns. The effectiveness of the campaign is shown through its continuation since 2012 (Brown et al., 2014).

Some interesting strategies such as the motivational text messaging programme is a particularly effective strategy with teens, as revealed in the Swiss study ‘Efficacy of a text messaging (SMS) based smoking cessation intervention for adolescents and young adults’ (Haug et al., 2012). Unique to this study is the use of personalised messages that changes depending on the users’ personal traits over an extended period of 24 months.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.38.20 am
An example of personalised text messages to participants. (Haug et al., 2012)


The Stoptober campaign reveals the effectiveness of national campaigns based on psychological motivations through positive messages and social behavioural movements over the common fear strategies utilised in anti-smoking campaigns.


Bala M., Strzeszynski L., Cahill K. Can tobacco control programmes that include a mass media campaign help to reduce levels of smoking among adults. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2012;(6) Art. No.: CD004704.

Brown, J., Kotz, D., Michie, S., Stapleton, J., Walmsley, M. & West, R. 2014, “How effective and cost-effective was the national mass media smoking cessation campaign ‘Stoptober’?”, Drug and alcohol dependence, vol. 135, pp. 52-58, <>.

Haug, S., Meyer, C., Dymalski, A., Lippke, S. & John, U. 2012, “Efficacy of a text messaging (SMS) based smoking cessation intervention for adolescents and young adults: Study protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial”, BMC Public Health, vol. 12, pp. 51, <>.

Durkin S., Brennan E., Wakefield M. Mass media campaigns to promote smoking cessation among adults: an integrative review. Tob. Control. 2012;21:127–138, <>.