Group Markisa – Anti-Tobacco Street Murals

The aim of our project was to raise awareness about emphysema and lung health through appropriating existing tobacco advertisement slogans that target Indonesian core values. Some of these values the tobacco companies exploit include social unity, independence, self-image, willpower and strength (Nichter et al. 2009).

Our biggest challenge was realising how ingrained smoking was in Ambonese Culture. Through our primary and secondary research, we discovered some people genuinely believe smoking is good for them and do not believe that smoking is detrimental to their health; others do not draw the connection that emphysema is a result of smoking. Aziz Adi, a cigarette stockist for Phillip Morris, claimed the cigarette packaging warnings were a ‘conspiracy’ (2019, pers. comm., 14 Jan). He supported this with his personal experience of not knowing anyone who has been affected by smoking in Ambon. We also found that Tobacco advertisements with slogans like “Be Bold”, “Go Ahead” and “Never Quit” were designed to be very attractive to young people, exploiting Indonesian values of adventure, bravery and success (Tjandra 2018).

From this research, we chose to target core values to raise awareness about emphysema as it is more effective than presenting facts which do not change beliefs. We took an approach that relates to daily life, that Indonesians in Ambon will find value in; will resonate with and will impact them.

In the process leading up to our idea, we began with brainstorming. Answering the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why, and how), we came up with a few ideas and jumped to solutions that were not targeted at a specific demographic. We narrowed down what we wanted by doing activities together such as body storming and additive ideation canvas (Dunn 2018). We formulated some “how might we…?” questions such as “how might a sensory experience of lung capacity lead to raised awareness for non-smokers at risk?” and passed them around, adding to each other’s ideas spurned by these questions. Out of the ideas we liked the most, we ended up deciding to target the values of the community, specifically the values that tobacco companies target, and subverting their message.

Our response to the design brief is a series of site specific anti-tobacco street murals:

  • Site specific: Our series of site specific street murals incorporates elements in the local environment to create site specific prompts; bringing attention to mundane objects and sights that usually go unnoticed or overlooked – a metaphor for bringing attention to the symptoms of emphysema that are going unnoticed.
  • Appropriating tobacco advertisement slogans: The murals combine text and image, appropriating existing slogans of local tobacco advertisements and using them to contradict pro-tobacco messages – taking something familiar to local Indonesians and re-contextualising it to bring attention to the anti-tobacco message; using an element of surprise to make it stand out in the already saturated media environment.
  • ‘Instragrammable’: We aimed to emulate the essence of Penang Street Art being highly ‘instagrammable’ hot spots for tourists and locals alike – visually appealing art that showcases Ambon’s culture and modernity and encourages people to photograph them and post on social media, hence spreading awareness of lung health through word of mouth and social media sharing. Photographs of the murals shared on Instagram and social media could also attract tourists from all over the world to visit Ambon and hence increase local tourism.
  • Engaging and Interactive: The murals are each a unique photo opportunity, some incorporating physical challenges such as “how long can you hold your breath?”, to encourage people to take photographs with the murals and therefore making our anti-tobacco message memorable and participative.
  • Raises Awareness and Sparks Conversation: The murals around Ambon will serve as prompts for Indonesians to take care of their lung health and raises awareness about the symptoms of emphysema in hopes for prevention and early detection. The hashtags (#SengMauRokok, #Suara_Tanpa_Rokok, #VisitAmbon2020 and #UTSbuild) and @suara_tanpa_rokok Instagram handle that are painted on the murals links the physical art to an online presence to continue the conversation of reducing tobacco use and spreading awareness of lung health and emphysema.

Mural #1: This is What Your Lungs Look Like if You Smoke

The pair of lungs on the bridge is a site responsive installation making use of the shape of the arched windows – drawing a parallel between the shape on the bridge and the shape of lungs. When one views the mural, the water fills the lungs and looks like tar which is what is in the lungs of a smoker. When the water level is lower in the canal, a lot of rubbish can be seen through the windows – a metaphor for lungs filling up with rubbish when one smokes.

Mural #2: Be Bold – Blow Bubbles Not Smoke

Our mural ‘Be Bold – Blow Bubbles Not Smoke’ subverts pre-existing smoking advertisements to create an anti-smoking slogan. The intention behind this is to create something new out of something familiar, making the viewer stop and look twice. Adding ‘Blow Bubbles Not Smoke’ onto L.A. Bold’s advertising slogan ‘Be Bold’ was inspired by our observations and conversations with locals about their smoking habits. Once heavy smokers claimed they were able to quit by substituting cigarettes for an alternative product such as coffee or lollies. We chose to use ‘bubbles’ as the alternative product on our mural as it is appropriate for all ages and sounds catchy in the slogan. In addition, the slogan allowed for a fun and playful interactive visual that people could engage with and post on social media to gain attention globally.

We painted the mural on a wall just off the main road that connects through the whole city. Its close proximity to the main road allows for high visibility and foot traffic. We chose to locate the mural on a side street as it provides a safe space for individuals to take images that they can then post on social media using the handle and hashtags provided. Painting these onto the mural was inspired by popular street art in Australia. For example, James Gulliver Hancock’s provided only a social media handle on his mural at Bondi Beach, attracting over 11,500 Instagram followers. This solution seemed more plausible than using a QR code sticker as they may easily fall off, ware and tare, and fade overtime. In addition, QR codes require a phone application to scan the codes, which not many people own and hence limiting the users experience.

Mural #3: Mock Up: We Are Stronger Together Without Tobacco

“We are stronger together without tobacco” mural plays on Gundang Garam’s PRO mild cigarette advertisement slogan, “We are stronger”. This mural targets values of masculinity, community, and unity through the image of a fist bump – a celebratory action done between friends.

Mural #4 Mock Up: How Long Can You Hold a Musical Note?

The text ‘how long can you hold a note for?’ is a physical challenge which prompts people to think about their lung capacity. This is also a site responsive installation through the use of the horizontal poles on the wall acting like a music staff.

Where to next?

As Ambon as the pilot, our vision is to see anti-tobacco murals all over Indonesia. We hope to raise awareness about the impacts of smoking and inspire lung health by targeting the core values of community and unity.

A high social media presence would help raise awareness about the murals and lung health. This can be achieved through the hashtags.

Site specific murals will attract locals and tourists to particular locations. Murals with physical challenges (eg. how long can you hold your breath?) will be repeated throughout Indonesia. We hope Vital Strategies will continue this project with the help of along with other communities and organisations. Using our proposed designs, others can be inspired to create their own murals playing on current tobacco slogans and tobacco culture.


Dunn, J. 2018, Additive ideation canvas: “yes, and…”, University of Technology Sydney, viewed 26 January 2019, <>.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, pp. 98-107.

Tjandra, N. 2018, ‘Disneyland for Big Tobacco’: how Indonesia’s lax smoking laws are helping next generation to get hooked, The Conversation, viewed 17 January 2019, <>.

Post D: Indonesia’s Omnipresent Tobacco Culture

Traces of tobacco exist in every crevice of Ambon: used cigarette butts discarded on the sidewalk; empty cigarette packets floating in the river; Ambonese men smoking along the streets; and the smell of tobacco wafting through the air – all constant reminders of tobacco’s long history in Indonesia, rich with cultural symbolism and associations that existed before the advent of advertising (Reynolds 1999). Perhaps the most jarring, and arguably the most noticeable, aspect of tobacco culture is the plethora of tobacco advertising that densely saturates the Indonesian landscape.

Hand-drawn map of a walk in Ambon observing tobacco advertisements

On a short walk around Ambon – through quiet residential areas, the bustling market, and busy main roads – it is quickly evident that one can barely walk a few metres without seeing cigarette advertisements plastered on cloth banners, wall posters or big billboards (Nichter et al. 2009).

Photographs taken during a walk around Ambon, Indonesia

The frequency in which these tobacco advertisements appear is appalling, and Indonesia’s alarming smoking statistics can in part be attributed to the aggressive and innovative cigarette marketing prevalent in Ambon and other parts of Indonesia (Nichter et al. 2009). In the city of Yogyakarta in Central Java, tobacco billboards are displayed prominently, and most small kiosks and shops are covered with tobacco advertisements – which concurs with the advertising landscape in Ambon as well, as seen from the images above (Nichter et al. 2009). Similarly, in Denpasar, Bali, it was found that 7 out of 10 retailers displayed at least one banner promoting cigarette products (Astuti & Freeman 2018). The combination of persistent advertising and readily available and affordable cigarettes, among other social and cultural factors, has resulted in over 62% of Indonesian males smoking regularly, and boys as young as 10-years-old beginning to smoke (Achadi, Soerojo & Barber 2005).

Although the dense saturation of tobacco advertising in Indonesia is shocking to witness, the most worrying aspect, however, is how these advertisements are seamlessly integrated into the Indonesian landscape and tobacco becomes synonymous with Indonesian culture. As a foreigner visiting Indonesia for the first time and experiencing culture shock from being bombarded with tobacco advertising, the imagery and slogans have started to blend into the environment and I have begun to accept that tobacco culture is a norm in Indonesia. Considering my own firsthand experience, I could only imagine that the local Indonesians have also accepted tobacco as a normality and are not fazed by the saturation of tobacco advertisements – tobacco is so deeply engrained in the fabric of Indonesian culture that the advertisements seemingly belong in front of houses and kiosk shops. Indigenous cigarette advertising exploits and manipulates Indonesian cultural values to promote smoking, and when published en masse, can create a natural association between desirable lifestyle attributes and tobacco – cultivating beliefs and habits in favour of tobacco that has proven, and will continue, to be extremely difficult to alter (Reynolds 1999).


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.

Astuti, P. & Freeman, B. 2018, Protecting young Indonesian hearts from tobacco, The Conversation, viewed 20 January 2019, <;.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, pp. 98-107.

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

Post B: The Ingredients for a Successful Design Initiative for Tobacco Control

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and cigarette smoking causes about one in five deaths each year, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths annually (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention n.d.). While cigarette smoking was first linked to lung cancer in 1950, the health hazards of passive smoke exposure was later established in the 1990s, and has been proven to cause death from lung cancer and heart disease (Brownson et al. 1992, p.99). In addition, the children of parents who smoke, and are therefore exposed to secondhand smoke, have a higher frequency of respiratory infections and decreased lung function as the lungs mature (Brownson et al. 1992, p.99).

Although public knowledge and beliefs about the harmful effects of smoking and secondhand smoke has increased substantially over the last century, tobacco control is still a severe global problem. In Chile, more than 55,000 children, aged between 10-14 years old, and 3,927,000 adults, aged 15 and above, continue to use tobacco each day (The Tobacco Atlas n.d.). In response to these alarming statistics, the Chilean Corporation Against Cancer (CONAC) launched a series of two provocative posters aimed to raise awareness of the adverse effects of secondhand smoke and urge citizens, and parents in particular, to quit smoking.

(Caffarena 2008)
(Caffarena 2008)

CONAC is a private non-profit entity dedicated to serve their community through education, prevention, early diagnosis, cancer research and treatment (Corporacion Nacional del Cancer n.d.). The posters designed by Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), one of the largest global advertising agency networks, depict two distressed and crying boys, each shrouded in a cloud of smoke resembling a plastic bag (Ads of the World 2008). The posters are shockingly realistic as the smoke looks like a real plastic bag choking the boys – a provocative and therefore impactful image effective in capturing attention and evoking shock and empathy. Visually, the contrast of the boys and the white smoke against a black background emphasises their distraught faces and illustrates the consequence of secondhand smoke on children. Although there is no explicit call to action after the caption, “Smoking isn’t just suicide. It’s murder”, the implied message is smoking cessation.

There is evidence that comprehensive tobacco control programmes featuring mass media campaigns, like the posters above, can be effective in changing smoking behaviour in adults (Bala, Strzeszynski & Cahill 2009, p.2). Although the posters faced criticisms of being controversial for using images of distressed children and being too graphic and hyperrealistic, they are memorable, impactful and speak to both logic and emotion – which is essential for a successful design initiative among the masses of mundane and repetitive material warning against tobacco use.


Ads of the World 2008, CONAC, viewed 10 January 2019, <;.

Bala, M., Strzeszynski, L. & Cahill, K. 2009, ‘Mass media interventions for smoking cessation in adults’, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, no. 1, pp. 1-66.

Brownson, R.C., Jackson-Thompson, J., Wilkerson, J.C., Davis, J.R., Owens, N.W. & Fisher, E.B. 1992, ‘Demographic and Socioeconomic Differences in Beliefs about the Health Effects of Smoking’, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 82, no. 1, pp 99-103.

Caffarena, P. 2008, Smoking isn’t just suicide. It’s murder., Ads of the World, viewed 10 January 2019, <;.

Caffarena, P. 2008, Smoking isn’t just suicide. It’s murder., Ads of the World, viewed 10 January 2019, <;.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention n.d., Tobacco-Related Mortality, viewed 11 January 2019, <;.

Corporacion Nacional del Cancer n.d., About us, Chile, viewed 10 January 2019, <;.

The Tobacco Atlas n.d., Chile, viewed 11 January 2019, <;.

Post B: Smoking Cessation Applications

In 2013, the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, a government organisation, created my QuitBuddy; a free personalised app designed to help users quit smoking (Department of Health | National Tobacco Campaign, 2019). The top-down approach is government funded and was created by a large interdisciplinary team composed of innovators, communication directors, strategists, managers, account managers and producers (My QuitBuddy, 2013). They saw an opportunity to create a support tool that would be with the user 24/7. The app targets rational, emotional and social functionality and has even created a gamification aspect (Campaign Brief, 2012).


Apps including and similar to my QuitBuddy are limited to simple communication; working on text-based programs. However, it offers many advantages which includes goal setting, daily reminders, progress tracking and self-monitoring. Particularly my QuitBuddy features reasons for quitting, recorded messages and photos from loved ones. It is a platform that shares success stories, distraction tips and celebrates milestones (quitnow, 2015). By presenting the risk factors of health and financial costs and benefits, the app succeeds to accommodate to most users as evidence shows younger smokers are concerned with monetary rewards of quitting whilst older populations care for the health factor (Paay, Kjeldskov, Skov, Lichon, & Rasmussen, 2015).



my Quit Buddy, Campaign Brief, 2012


Findings towards the effectiveness of this particular app is limited however US National Institute of Health undertook a systematic review of smartphone applications for smoking cessation. It is understood that applications such as my QuitBuddy has created a health intervention treatment that is more accessible than ever before (Haskins et al., 2017). Previously, face-to-face communication was the ideal way for treatment, but its scalability is not as wide reached as mobile access (Raw & McNeil, 1994). Through text-based support it alleviates problems such as fees, portability, connectivity, scheduling and time issues (Keoleian, Polcin and Galloway, 2015).


Weerakone’s thesis discovered hundreds of apps, in which 82 qualified for review; the few high performing apps were ones like my QuitBuddy who partnered with health or government agencies when critiqued against the Clinical Practice Guidelines (Weerakone, 2016). The most effective apps combined a calendar with a calculator in a colourful format making self-monitoring easy to digest; my QuitBuddy succeeded in this area by using infographics (Weerakone, 2016).


screen shot 2019-01-11 at 4.33.47 pm

Flow chart of the review process, Weerakone, 2016


In 2013, it was calculated that there were 200,000 downloads on iOS and Android devices which amounts to approximately 7% of all Australian smokers but more importantly; it was recorded 39% of smokers who have used my QuitBuddy managed to remain abstinent after six months (My QuitBuddy, 2013). Therefore, it is evident that this particular design intervention has been successful and fulfilled their project brief intention. It is also important to be aware of all the other applications that are available and are not made to the correct standard to achieve a positive outcome for users and communities.


Reference List

Department of Health | National Tobacco Campaign 2019, viewed 10 January 2019, <;.

Haskins, B. L., Lesperance, D., Gibbons, P., & Boudreaux, E. D., 2017, A systematic review of smartphone applications for smoking cessation. Translational behavioural medicine7(2), 292-299.

Keoleian, V., Polcin, D. and Galloway, G. 2015, Text Messaging for Addiction: A Review, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, vol 47, no 2, pp.158-176.

My QuitBuddy aims to help people quit smoking 2012, Campaign Brief Australia. viewed 11 January 2019, <;.

My QuitBuddy 2013, DRIVENxDESIGN. viewed 11 January 2019, <;.

Paay, J., Kjeldskov, J., Skov., M.B., Lichon, L., & Rasmussen, S. 2015, Understanding individual differences for tailored smoking cessation apps. Retrieved from

quitnow – My QuitBuddy 2015, viewed 11 January 2019, <;.

Raw, M. and McNeillL, A. 1994, The prevention of tobacco-related disease, Addiction, vol 89, no 11, pp.1505-1509.

Weerakone, S. 2016, Examining the effects of an online intervention promoting isometric exercise in smokers, University of London, vol. 1, p47-56.

Blog B: International Case Study of Design for Tobacco Control

Smoking is the leading cause for preventable diseases and staggering mortality rates worldwide (Manuel C. Pietsche, 2018) while many countries are attempting to reduce the mortality rate, Indonesia is one of the few countries that has the highest number of smokers globally. With a population of around 260 million at least 214,000 people die each year, 19% of which are males and 7% are females (, 2017) 

Looking at how some organisations are trying to combat these issues in other countries the question is: are these initiatives proving successful? According to G.T Fong “It is not possible to conduct randomised experimental studies to evaluate the effects of tobacco control policies because governments, not researchers, control policy implementation”. A well known example in Australia is the cigarette packaging featuring graphic images of what may result from prolonged tobacco use which came into place thanks to the Department of Health by December 2012. However a recent study released by The Cancer Council of Victoria found that plain packaging in Australia has failed. “Smoking rates in Australia have increased by 21,000 smokers from 2013 (one year after the new cigarette packaging was implemented) to 2016. This is marked the first time in decades that there hasn’t been a reduction in smoking rates.”(Sarah Ray, 2018)

Probing into recent initiatives, based in the U.S aims to prevent young adults from early addiction to tobacco, cigarette smoking usually begins at an early age especially in lower economic countries and regions (Saadiyah Rao, 2014). One of many of their initiatives is ‘Kick Butts Day’ dedicated to encourage youths to “stand out, speak up and seize control” (  KBD now organises events globally and hopes to reach more countries, the campaign aims to achieve a smoke-free future with the following:

fig.1 KBD logo

  • Promote policies reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws enforced in public spaces, funded tobacco prevention programs.
  • Expose and counter tobacco industry efforts to market to children and mislead the public.
  • Uniting organisations to join the fight against tobacco.
  • Empower a tobacco-free generation by fostering youth leadership and activism.
  • Inform the public, policy makers and the media about tobacco’s devastating consequences and the effectiveness of the policies we support.

KBD offers wide a range of activities aimed at students from elementary school to college, extensive support and resources that would have a prolonged effect for children and young adults in the future. Rather than aiming their campaigns at adult smokers they are educating students before they feel the pressure of having to smoke. 


The conceptual framework of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project

 G.T Fong, K.M Cummings, R Borland, G Hastings, A Hyland, G.A Giovino, D Hammond, M.E Thompson

Next-generation tobacco and nicotine products: Substantiating harm reduction and supporting tobacco regulatory science 

Manuel C Peitsch, Riccardo Polosa, Christopher Proctor, Thord Hassler, Marianna Gaca, Erin Hill, Julia Hoeng, and 

A Wallace Hayes

Anti-smoking initiatives and current smoking among 19,643 adolescents in South Asia: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey
Saadiyah Rao, Syeda Kanwal Aslam, Sidra Zaheer and Kashif Shafique


The Department of Health, Tobacco: Health Warnings, April 2018

<> Viewed 8/1/19

The Toll of Tobacco In Indonesia

<> Viewed 7/1/19

Plain Packaging a graphic study in Failure, Spectator Australia, Sarah Ray, July 2018

<> Viewed 9/1/19

Kick Butts Day, For Youth Advocates

<> Viewed 8/1/19

fig 1. Kick Butts Day Logo, Illustrator Unknown


The Perception of Cigarettes

The smell of Japanese cuisine wafts gently through the air before being engulfed in the flustered movements of waiters shuffling systematically around large round tables. Plates clatter and click against frantic discussion and small talk with eagerly pressed elbows firmly placed into a draped crisp white cloth. In the foreground is Admad a 20-year-old ITS industrial design student with a passion for design and activism. I begin my interview by introducing myself and discussing our mutual understanding of CAD and rendering software before beginning my inquiry into the tobacco industries vice-like grip on Indonesia and the perspective held by the Indonesian people.

One of the major concepts which I wanted to explore within this interview was the perspective of tobacco held by modern Indonesia. I specifically wanted to gain an understanding of the role of tobacco companies within Indonesia society in light of contemporary understandings of smokings ill effects and repercussions. From this understanding, I posed the question “Do you believe Tobacco Companies are beneficial for Indonesian society” from this question I entered with a preconceived idea that contemporary Indonesians would perceive tobacco companies as a negative influence. Admad responded, “tobacco companies are good for Indonesia because they provide so much for Indonesians”. This juxtaposed response possed a significant point of interest so I inquired further as to where this belief stemmed. Admad proceeded to inform me that tobacco companies make a significant positive contribution to society through the funding and implementation of community programs a notion reiterated in the quote “money from the cigarette industry is a major source of tax revenue for Indonesian Government” (Adioetomo & Hendratno 2001; Aditama 2002; Yurekli & De Beyer 2000). These community programs included sporting clubs and opportunities with Sampoerna being a noticeable example. Admad also informed me of the educational benefits tobacco companies provide Indonesia students evident within the copious grants and opportunities tobacco companies provide particularly evident within Sampoerna University which offers grants up to $41,000 for its top students (The Jakarta Post 2018). These insights made me re-evaluate my perspective of the tobacco companies particularly in regards to the level of power big tobacco holds over Indonesian society evident within the indirect propaganda utilised throughout Indonesian society.

Sampoerna University
Sampoerna University – 2018

Following our discussion of the benefits tobacco companies provide for modern Indonesia I returned to the interview and inquired into Admad personal understanding of the risks associated with smoking. I began by posing the question “are you aware of what smoking does to the human body?” to which Admad responded, “smoking can make you sick”. Admad response surprised me specifically due to the blanket statement nature of the response which spurred my response “are you aware that smoking can cause cancer among other illnesses”.  Admad rebutted in surprise “really” a notion reiterated in by the world health organisation in the quote “The underestimation of tobacco risks by general populations has a high direct correlation with smoking rates” (WHO 2012). After Ahmad’s response, we began discussing the various risks and illness associated with smoking including emphysema as well as short-term effects including difficulty breathing and a reduced sense of taste. This lack of knowledge in regards to the understanding of smoking piqued my interest specifically due to the prevalence of tobacco education in Indonesia and the plethora of information available online. This insight inspired me to pursue an information-based campaign which highlighted the ill effect of smoking specifically the short-term implications of smoking in the hope these would be more relevant for young people.

Once the food had been placed on our table we halted the discussion. In summary, the discussion provided invaluable insights into the nature of the tobacco industry within Indonesian specifically the perception of Tobacco conglomerates. The interview also provided an insight into the level of understanding possessed by a tertiary student within Indonesia which would prove valuable in the conceptualisation and finalisation of my team’s final solution.


The dichotomy of design

Designers provide a critical agent for change within contemporary society evident within an understanding about the role of the user in an effective design solution as well as the role of prototyping and technical skill in the realisation of conceptualisations. These values allow designs to express ideas and perspectives effectively with stakeholders thereby producing contextually relevant design solutions and marketing campaigns for big tobacco.

One of the major was in which designers have a had a positive impact upon the tobacco industry and thus a negative impact upon the Indonesian people is evident within the notion of branding and packaging within Indonesia. One of the major examples of this phenomena is evident within the utilisation of colour within packaging particularly the utilisation of lighter colours in order to draw false connections between the cigarettes and less negative effects. This notion was reflected in the quote ‘ colours and descriptors are perceived by smokers to communicate health-risk information.’ (Bansal-Travers, 2011). Another example of designers negative impact through the smoking industry is evident within the campaign strategies utilised throughout Indonesia. These campaigns work through an aspirational framework similar to Australian alcohol advertisement with a significant pressure begin placed particularly on young men. These young men formate one of the strongest target groups as reflected in the quote ‘Tobacco advertisements in Indonesia often contain messages that suggest lifestyles of adventure, attractiveness and modernity. These advertisements are popular with young men and these same ads are also very attractive to younger boys. Effectively these ads would desensitize the population, priming them for smoking later in life (Ng et al., 2007).


In comparison to Australian marketing techniques, the notion of drinking as a bonding agent between young people is significantly prevalent within the smoking cultural of Indonesia with young men, in particular, asserting the place of smoking a social tool to add in the formation of friendships. This concept is corroborated within a study the World Health Organisation which suggests “ the position of the young boys as followers’, their social environment seemed to encourage and reinforce smoking to them. Cigarettes enabled the boys to develop social bonds amongst each other, maintain the group’s ‘cool’ identity and avoid social exclusion; These children see tobacco as a way to increase their social status, making it an important element of social life for boys” (Ng 2007).

In summary, designs play an important role within the effectiveness of smoking within Indonesia from both a product to campaigning perspective designers readily utilise their skills to skew and warp the perception of tobacco from a health risk to an Indonesian necessity. This question of ethical indifference allows an understanding of the significant sway a design can provide in the uptake and opinion of a product within the eyes of a consumer.


Bansal-Travers, M., Hammond, D., Smith, P. and Cummings, K. 2011, The Impact of Cigarette Pack Design, Descriptors, and Warning Labels on Risk Perception in the U.S., American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol 40, no 6, pp.674-682,.

Marlboro 2014, NEVER SAY MAYBE. BE MARLBORO., viewed 21 December 2018, <;.

Ng, N., Weinehall, L. and Ohman, A. 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,.