POST A: Designing for the next generation

Design is a complex system often difficult to define. Design activism in particular gives shape to a cause in a way that’s easy to understand and embrace, acting as a sustained platform for change.(Miles, 2019) However, not all design can resolve issues, but instead unknowingly or purposefully contribute to them. In terms of Indonesia’s smoking epidemic, design is a vital tool effectively used to promote tobacco use, whether this be through the use of public space (billboards, banners outside shop fronts), social media and television campaigns, packaging or sponsorships and endorsements of major events. The tobacco industry has and continues to connect with designers and creative culture makers successfully, with the industry increasing their economic gain through their strategic and appealing advertising schemes targeting the youth; the next generation smokers.

In Indonesia, particularly Yogyakarta the presence of smoking advertisements are everywhere. It is surprising when there is a lack of. In Reynolds ‘Tobacco Control’ she shares “…visiting the country in early 1997, I was appalled by the enormous amount of billboard and point-of-sale advertising, indigenous and multinational, so prolific it almost became a “natural” part of the Indonesian landscape.” (Reynolds, 1997)

Smoking Campaign, Borobudur, 2019 (own photo)

Fast forward 22 years later, I share in Reynolds experiences in the sense not much has changed. The lack of advertising control has enabled the tobacco industry to continue to thrive, with it living proof of how impactful design really is. With the rise of a technological era, the exposure of such design is more far-reaching than ever before, from streets to television screens, to the sponsoring of public events, social media and Youtube – media outlets that are more commonly used by Indonesia’s youth.

Gudang Garam’s GG Mild brand Youtube advertisement (2017) clearly advocates the ‘new generation’ as their audience, promoting creativity along side tobacco. Smoking continues to be promoted as a ‘social activity’ or something that is considered ‘cool’, using works by designers as an engaging technique.

Gudang Guram GG Mild Advertisement, 2017

In 2016, Global Health Action conducted a survey with high-school students to investigate how youth perceived cigarette advertising. This study revealed that cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke and that smoking status was consistently associated with perception of cigarette ads. (Global Health Action, 2016)

Not only is the imagery a key aspect of design, but so is placement. Banner design in particular is placed on store fronts in close proximity to schools as a subtle yet strategic method to appeal to youth. (Lamb, 2018)

L.A Bold Cigarette Billboard on Yogyakarta street, 2019, (own photo)
Clas Mild Silver cigarette advertisement on vehicle down Yogyakarta street, 2019, (own photo)

Across Indonesia, more design activism for anti-smoking initiatives is needed. Design is both the problem and the solution, and it effects everything. (Crosby, 2016)

Crosby, A. 2019, ‘Design Activism in an Indonesian Village’, MIT Design Issues, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 50-63, viewed 19 December 2019, < https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/desi_a_00549>.

Medicine Man, How does design affect our lives?, marketing agency, London, viewed 20th December 2019, <https://medicine-man.net/2017/11/07/how-does-design-effect-our-lives/>.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Prabandari, Y., Ng, N., Danardono, M. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia,’ Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 2, viewed 20th December 2019, < https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98 >.

Reynolds, C. 1999, Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”, viewed 20th December 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/8/1/85.short&gt;.

Yayi P., Arika, D 2016, US National Library of Medicine, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students viewed on 20th Dec 2019,<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005365/>

POST D: Is the Indonesian tobacco industry killing or giving?

I remember watching ABC News’ ‘Children smoking in Indonesia’ (ABC, 2012) in high school years back. The video depicted Indonesian toddlers in which majority were boys as young as two year olds smoking, sparking high controversy.

‘Children smoking in Indonesia (2012)’ by ABC News
Youtube, 2012, Children smoking in Indonesia, ABC, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcsdt468C_0.

Local tobacco company, Gudang Garam’s ‘GG Mild brand’ is rumoured to be notorious for targeting the youth in their trendy smoking advertisements (refer to video). They’ve used this to their advantage as cigarettes are accessible to the underage as there are no laws of restriction in buying (GYTYS). Further, tobacco is also sold cheaply at around $1.55USD for a Malboro 20 pack.

‘Iklan GG Mild 2017’
Youtube, 2017, Iklan GG Mild 2017 style of new generation, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=_ulaZYgXzdM&feature=emb_title.

In 2012, Indonesia was said to have the most male smokers in the world according to the ‘Global Adult Tobacco Survey’ (GATS, 2012). Almost 72% of Indonesian men over the age of 15 years have smoked and more than half (54.2%) of their male population are daily smokers (WHO, 2019). Tobacco has been intentionally developed to integrate with Indonesian culture through ‘kretek’. Kretek is a clove scented cigarette which is inspired by Indonesian natural herbs and is said to be smoother but more toxic than the average commercial cigarette. Cigarette companies were aware of how Kretek played on Indonesian culture and thus, saw further opportunities with it. These companies invested greatly into marketing strategies, sponsoring national sporting events and even educational scholarships (Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat, University of Manchester, 2018). They were successful with using mainstream marketing as a strategy because unlike Australia, Indonesia does not have a cigarette advertising ban. In a GATS survey, 82.5% Indonesians reported seeing a cigarette promotion (GATS, 2012).

Indonesian boys smoking.
Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Dikanaya Tarahita, 2018, As the Rest of the World Quits, Indonesia’s Smokers Increase, asia sentinel, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/indonesia-smokers-increase/.

Cheap and easy access to cigarettes go hand in hand with Indonesia’s poverty rate. Over ‘30 million’ Indonesians live in poverty and ’43.4 million’ youths are unemployed, West Java having the highest unemployment rate of 60%. When there is no employment, education is neglected which results in the population being un-educated to the consequence of smoking. This can be particularly dangerous in a place like Java as more than half of the nation’s tobacco is produced in East Java (Santi Martíni and Muji Sulistyowati, 2005). Perhaps, Java’s cultural hub Yogyakarta could also play a factoring role in the tobacco market there too as it is known for its island culture. Similarly, Surabaya, a city in East Java known for its organised youth gangs and homelessness could also add to the popularity of tobacco usage.

Hand drawn map of Indonesia highlighting Java island cities by Brandon Siow, 2019.

With tobacco having such a big part of their culture and high unemployment rates, it is no surprise the government sees no interest in promoting tobacco use less as it is profiting for them and employment in the tobacco industry.

References:

Matteo Carlo Alcano, 2014, Youth Gangs and Streets in Surabaya, East Java: Growth, Movement and Places in the Context of Urban Transformations, viewed 25 November 2019, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307744782_Youth_Gangs_and_Streets_in_Surabaya_East_Java_Growth_Movement_and_Places_in_the_Context_of_Urban_Transformations.


Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Dikanaya Tarahita, 2018, As the Rest of the World Quits, Indonesia’s Smokers Increase, asia sentinel, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/indonesia-smokers-increase/.

Nathalia Tjandra, 2018, Indonesia’s lax smoking laws are helping next generation to get hooked, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2018/06/04/indonesias-lax-smoking-laws-are-helping-next-generation-to-get-hooked.html.

Tobacco free kids, 2012, Survey: Indonesia Has Highest Male Smoking Rate in the World, viewed 23 November 2019, https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/blog/2012_09_12_indonesia.

Santi Martini and Muji Sulistyowati, 2005, The Determinants of Smoking Behavior among Teenagers in East Java Province, Indonesia, viewed 24 November 2019, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/13781/347660IND0YouthSmoking0HNP0Tobacco032.pdf;sequence=1

WHO, 2019, WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, viewed 24 November 2019, https://www.who.int/tobacco/surveillance/policy/country_profile/idn.pdf.

Youth Hub Indonesia, 2019, Challenge, Emotive, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.emotiveprogram.org/challenge/rural-hub/youth-hub-indonesia/

Youtube, 2012, Children smoking in Indonesia, ABC, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcsdt468C_0.

Youtube, 2017, Iklan GG Mild 2017 style of new generation, viewed 26 November 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=_ulaZYgXzdM&feature=emb_title.

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.

References

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, <https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S016885100400209X?token=23E186940EC41147619C6890FF92BBC4DF6E2743C6924063349769EFF7B9FC063DCB1F07AFA4015750A13C624CEC9F86&gt;.

Indonesia – Tobacco Atlas 2019, Tobaccoatlas.org. viewed 24 November 2019, <https://tobaccoatlas.org/country/indonesia/&gt;.

McCall, C. 2014, Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia, The Lancet, vol 384, no 9951, pp.1335-1336, viewed 24 November 2019, <https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61804-3/fulltext&gt;.

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, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98&gt;.

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, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19033331&gt;.

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, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3402/gha.v9.30914?needAccess=true&gt;.

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, <http://ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/docview/1781954926?accountid=17095&gt;.

Vital Strategies 2018, #SuaraTanpaRokok, viewed 24 November 2019, <https://twitter.com/vitalstrat/status/960933916063518721&gt;.

Post D: Targeting the youth – Tobacco culture in Indonesia

It was a few years ago now when a video of an Indonesian toddler, smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day, went viral. The video showed a young boy from Sumatra, puffing away on a cigarette, a habit which he took up at only 18 months old. Although this is an extreme case, it is not uncommon for children to begin smoking from a young age in Indonesia. 

‘Indonesian baby smokes 40 cigarettes a day’, (On Demand News, 2019)

Around 66.6% of men and 2.1% of women, are daily smokers in Indonesia. While nearly 4% of children between the ages of 10 – 14 years old use tobacco daily. (The Tobacco Atlas, 2015). Click for more information.

Without looking too far, it is easy to see why tobacco culture is rife in Indonesia. “Tobacco advertising in Indonesia is among the most aggressive and innovative in the world, and tobacco advertisements saturate the environment” (Danardono, Ng, Nichter, Padmawati, Prabandari, 2009). Click for full article. After conducting my own research, several key factors seem to be playing a contributing role to the issues surrounding smoking in Indonesia. These include, persistent and widespread advertising with few restrictions, tobacco companies as a large source of government revenue, a lack of cessation strategies being put into place, a societal pressure for men to smoke, and a lack of health care providers being at the forefront of tobacco reduction efforts. 

A photograph taken by me during my visit to Central Java. In the photo there are 4 signs in a row for cigarette companies and ‘Pro Never Quit’ slogans.

A survey carried out in East Java, studied the smoking behaviours of teenagers in the City of Surabaya and found that the “prevalence rate among youth in Indonesia is much higher than in neighbouring countries” (Martini, Sulistyowati, 2005). Part of this is a result of youth having easy access to tobacco in stores and from street vendors. Further results showed that the youth in Surabaya usually begin smoking between the ages of 10 and 17 years old. Shockingly, some begin as early as 3 years old. As East Java is one of the major raw tobacco, cigarette and kretek producing provinces in Indonesia, it is no surprise that such a high proportion of youths take up smoking. 

Hand drawn map of a section of Indonesia, showing key areas discussed in this blog post

A sad reality of the smoking epidemic are the health problems that come with it. “Indonesia is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease from tobacco-related illnesses” (Hidayat, Thabrany, 2010). Click for more. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the major causes of death in Indonesia, with over 26% being directly caused by tobacco. “Tobacco control is essential for preventing and controlling deaths…caused by CVDs” (World Health Organization, 2018). Further information.

Looking to the future, it is clear that there needs to be some changes made, knowing where to begin and how to go about making these changes are the first steps towards tackling the tobacco industry in Indonesia.  

________________________________

References

Achadi, A., Croghan, I., Ebbert, J. & Hurt, R. 2012, Roadmap to a tobacco epidemic: transnational tobacco companies invade Indonesia, BMJ Journals, vol. 21, no. 3, viewed 21 November 2019,

https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/21/3/306.short

Broadhurst, C. 2019, Dihan, 6, has cut down to just four cigarettes a day from his usual two packs a day. And his parents are proud, PRI, viewed 25 November 2019,

https://www.pri.org/stories/number-children-smoking-indonesia-getting-out-control

Danardono, M., Ng, N., Nichter, M., Padmawati, S. & Prabandari, Y. 2009, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, BMJ Journals, vol. 18, no. 2, viewed 24 November 2019,

https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98.short

Dhumieres, M. 2019, The number of children smoking in Indonesia is getting out of control, Public Radio International, unknown date, viewed 23 November 2019,  

https://www.pri.org/stories/number-children-smoking-indonesia-getting-out-control

Hidayat, B. & Thabrany, H. 2010, Cigarette Smoking in Indonesia: Examination of a Myopic Model of Addictive Behaviour, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 7, no. 6, viewed 22 November 2019,

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/7/6/2473/htm

Hull, T., McDonald, P., Reimondos, A., Suparno, H., Utomo, A. & Utomo, I. 2012, Smoking and young adults in Indonesia, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, vol. 1, no. 2, viewed 25 November 2019,

https://chr.ui.ac.id/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/06/policy_background_2_smoking.pdf

Lando, H. 2016, Promoting tobacco cessation in low- and middle-income countries, Cambridge Core, vol. 11, no. 2, viewed 22 November 2019,

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-smoking-cessation/article/promoting-tobacco-cessation-in-low-and-middleincome-countries/841A7ADD6DB9A77EA7BD3BE8DB871F46/core-reader

Martini, S. & Sulistyowati, M. 2005, The determinants of smoking behaviour among teenagers in East Java Province, Indonesia, Economics of Tobacco Control Paper No. 32, vol. 1, no. 1, viewed 25 November 2019,

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/13781/347660IND0YouthSmoking0HNP0Tobacco032.pdf;sequence=1

McCall, C. 2014, Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia, The Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9951, viewed 20 November 2019,

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61804-3/fulltext

Ng, N., Ohman, A. & Weinehall, L. 2007, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 6, viewed 22 November 2019,

https://academic.oup.com/her/article/22/6/794/640787

The Tobacco Atlas, 2015, Indonesia, American Cancer Society, viewed 26 November 2019,

https://tobaccoatlas.org/country/indonesia/

World Health Organization, 2018, Factsheet 2018 Indonesia, Regional Office for South-East Asia, viewed 24 November 2019,

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272673/wntd_2018_indonesia_fs.pdf?sequence=1

Post D: The norms and values relating to smoking in Javanese society

After China, Indonesia is the second-largest cigarette market in Asia. It is estimated that around 65 percent of Indonesian men are smokers. For Indonesian women, the figure is much lower – around 3 percent only (Indonesia Investment 2016). Most of the smokers start smoking from early age and got addicted eventually. An estimated of 58.1% of men adults aged over 15 years old were current smokers and as the age increased the prevalence of current smoking increased by almost 20% (Kristina et al. 2016). But people with higher level of education were less likely to currently smoke than a high school education people. Through a research conducted by a university student in Yogyakarta, non-smokers indicate that they have a higher quality of life compared to smokers, and in general showed a significant relationship with others (Perdana 2014).

The different percentage of men adults smokers and non-smokers over 15 years old in Yogyakarta and their reasons to smoke.

Smoking can lead to different diseases one of them is diabetes. In Yogyakarta Province, 65% of male diabetes patients smoked before being diagnosed (Padmawati et al. 2009). But despite knowing that they suffer from diabetes, 32% still smoked in the last 30 days, many diabetic patients continue to smoke despite the hazard of smoking on diabetes complications and mortality. Lack of education is one of the biggest factors of smokers in Indonesia. They think that if they don’t smoke, they are not a real man. Smoking is used as a metaphor for masculinity, potency and bravery. and by not smoking society will treat them as ‘abnormal’ (Ng, Weinehall, Öhman 2006). The norms and values relating to smoking in Javanese society has becoming the reasons for their smoking. In Java culture, cigarettes are often introduced to young boys during the traditional religious ritual of circumcision, which in this society occurs at the age of 10–12 years. 

Icha, 16, began smoking when she was 13 after a friend offered a cigarette to smoke together. Now, she smokes at least one pack of 12 cigarettes each day (CNN Health 2017).

Therefore, smoking among Java is associated with both traditional and modern culture, as well as religious practice. Smoking is deeply rooted and accepted by the society since it was introduced in Indonesia a long time ago, in the 16th century, making smokers hard to quit and even doesn’t have desire to quit. In Indonesia smoking and tobacco advertisements were signs of several positive connotations, such as ‘a steady life’, ‘pleasure’, ‘good taste’, ‘feel so rich’, ‘impressive’, ‘good appearance’ and ‘attractive’. Government need to act fast to establish a clear understanding to citizens especially young people to not think smoking as a privileged, however they should start treating it as something they shouldn’t try since young age.

Reference List:

Indonesia Investments 2016, ‘Tobacco & Cigarette Industry Indonesia’, Indonesia Investments, viewed 23 November 2019, <https://www.indonesia-investments.com/business/industries-sectors/tobacco/item6873&gt;.

Kristina, S. A., Endarti, D., Widayanti, A. W., Widiastuti, M. 2015, ‘Health-related Quality of Life Among Smokers in Yogyakarta‘, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, viewed 23 November 2019, <http://impactfactor.org/PDF/IJPCR/8/IJPCR,Vol8,Issue1,Article18.pdf&gt;.

Ng, N., Weinehall, L., Öhman, A. 2006, ‘‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking’, Indonesia Investments, viewed 23 November 2019, <https://academic.oup.com/her/article/22/6/794/640787&gt;.

Padmawati, R. S., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. S., Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Smoking among diabetes patients in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: cessation efforts are urgently needed’, Wiley Online Library, viewed 23 November 2019, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02241.x&gt;.

Perdana, S. S. 2014, ‘HUBUNGAN STATUS MEROKOK DENGAN KUALITAS HIDUP DI KOTA YOGYAKARTA’ (THE RELATIONSHIP OF SMOKERS WITH THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE IN YOGYAKARTA), Gadjah Mada University, viewed 23 November 2019, <http://etd.repository.ugm.ac.id/index.php?mod=penelitian_detail&sub=PenelitianDetail&act=view&typ=html&buku_id=72650&gt;.

Senthilingam, M. 2017, ‘Chain-smoking children: Indonesia’s ongoing tobacco epidemic’, CNN Health, viewed 23 November 2019, <https://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/30/health/chain-smoking-children-tobacco-indonesia/index.html&gt;.

POST D: Smoke, Eat, Drink, Repeat

Walking along the streets of Ambon, it appears one aspect of Tobacco culture is its association with positive and pleasurable experiences. This ethnographic study was effective because it encourages participation by the researcher, getting involved, seeing what life is like from the point of view of the subject (Coyne 2006).

Locally, I observed (as recorded in ‘Map My Walk Ambon 2019’ below), mostly sedentary smokers – groups of men sitting in alleyways, shopkeepers minding their market stores and drivers both old and young. They appeared to be enjoying it. Perhaps because deep breathing, even when taking in cigarette smoke, can be physiologically relaxing (as is sitting back, socialising, or having a warm drink). These pleasant things get strongly associated with the effect of the cigarette itself (Quit Tasmania 2013).

 

map my walk 1
(Map My Walk Ambon 2019)

img20190114115216
(Men Smoking 2019)

dsc_0109_2
(Men Smoking 2 2019)

This could also be said for the association of one’s identity with smoking. The cigarette is a symbol of manhood and conveys messages such as, in the words of the tobacco company Philip Morris, “I am no longer my mother’s child,” and “I am tough” (Jarvis 2004). There was not one street I walked down that I did not see a pro-tobacco advertisement using themes that are likely to be very attractive to young people, such as humour, adventure, bravery and success. (Tjandra 2018). It’s interesting to note that the dominant banner colours, red and white, are the colours of the Indonesian flag. They are considered the sacred colours of the nation as they represent the sacrifice and the struggle of the people striving toward their independence. (Asimonoff 2016). Simply through colour, smoking is now associated with freedom and courage which the people of Ambon could value.

img_20190116_121637_945
(Young Man Smoking 2019)

img20190114123025
(Go Ahead Banner 2019)

dsc_0097_2
(Pro We Are Stronger Poster 2019)

dsc_0102_2
(Pro Never Quit Banner 2019)

dsc_0105_2
(Pro We Are Stronger Banner 2019)

Nationally, the sponsoring and social marketing of music festivals by tobacco companies targets young people to associate smoking with music, creativity, and self-expression. Even though they are 18+ events, Instagram eliminates the boundary exposing the sponsorship to all social media users worldwide. Philip Morris International created an online social networking community for A brand enthusiasts and future customers. At goaheadpeople.id registrants can click on links and find activities where they can learn, meet, create and sell creative products and get involved in projects or challenges (Astuti & Freeman 2018).

It’s evident that Tobacco companies have successfully carried out Craig Lefebvre’s marketing model of scope – co‐creation, conversations, communities and markets; design – honouring people, radiating value, engaging service and enhancing experiences; and value space – dignity, hope, love and trust (Lefebvre 2013), which has resulted in a tobacco empire. In fact, on a global scale, Indonesia is known as the ‘tobacco’s industry Disneyland’ and is the only Asian country that has not signed the ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) (Tjandra 2018).

Strategically, tobacco companies have embedded smoking culture so deeply into society that it has rewired people’s brains to think positively about it and to not even question it. It’s a social norm.

 

_____________

References

Asimonoff 2016, Colours in Indonesia, Transparent Language, weblog, New Hampshire, viewed 17 January 2019, <https://blogs.transparent.com/indonesian/colors-in-indonesian-culture/>.

Astuti, P. & Freeman, B. 2018, Protecting young Indonesian hearts from tobacco, The Conversation, viewed 17 January 2019, <https://theconversation.com/protecting-young-indonesian-hearts-from-tobacco-97554>.

Astuti, P. & Freeman, B. 2018, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, The Conversation, 17 January 2019, <https://theconversation.com/tobacco-company-in-indonesia-skirts-regulation-uses-music-concerts-and-social-media-for-marketing-93206>.

Chan, M. 2019, Go Ahead Banner, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Map My Walk Ambon, Sketch, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Men Smoking, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Men Smoking 2, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Pro Never Quit Banner, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Pro We Are Stronger Banner, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Chan, M. 2019, Pro We Are Stronger Poster, photograph, Ambon, Indonesia.

Coyne, R. 2006, Creative practice and design-led research, Research Methods, viewed 17 January 2019,<http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/JointGrads/ResearchMethods/resources/triangulation.pdf>.

Jarvis, M. 2004, ‘Why people smoke’, The British Medical Journal, vol 328, viewed 17 January 2019, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC324461/>.

Lefebvre, C. 2012, ‘Transformative social marketing: co‐creating the social marketing discipline and brand’, Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 2 , no. 2, viewed 17 January <https://doi.org/10.1108/20426761211243955>.

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, <https://theconversation.com/disneyland-for-big-tobacco-how-indonesias-lax-smoking-laws-are-helping-next-generation-to-get-hooked-97489>.

Quitline. 2013, Stress and Smoking, Quit Tasmania, viewed 17 January 2019, <https://www.quittas.org.au/understanding-your-smoking/stress-and-smoking>.

 

 

 

POST C: The Rise In Youth Smoking? An Interview With Youth Leader Gading Fajar

As one of the top four tobacco consuming countries in the world (Anshari, D. 2017.), Indonesia is lagging behind in terms of control systems. (Schewe, E. 2012.) It wasn’t until I arrived in Banjarmasin that I fully understood the severity of the issue, particularly in the prevalence of youth smokers. As Vital Strategies mentioned in their presentation, the increase in youth smokers in South Kalimantan rose from “25% in 2013 to 48% in 2017”. (Vital Strategies. 2018.)

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Statistic shown during the Vital Strategies presentation about the rise in youth smoking over the last 4 years. It is a major concern that they are working to reduce. (Image: Vital Strategies. 2018.)

During my travels, I noticed that there are many factors that have contributed to this. For example, there were social influences like peer pressure and smoking role models such as parents and teachers. There was also heavy exposure to tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships. Even the opportunities to smoke in Indonesia were easier than Sydney. For example, people could smoke in public places like the hotel lobby.  My collaborative experience in Banjarmasin, working closely with Vital Strategies led me to several opportunities to meet and interview the local community and students. This allowed me to gain insight into where exactly the tobacco issue comes from and why the issue is increasing rather than decreasing.

Gading Fajar, aged 19, is a non-smoker who works in Banjarmasin. He volunteers with a few organisations, including Vital Strategies, that aim to promote health and positive change throughout his city. I decided to interview Gading given the trend for increased smoking amongst the youth. “About 30%” (Fajar, G. 2018.) of Gading’s friends smoke, but he goes against the social norm to do this because he believes that “the new generation can make a good movement to make Banjarmasin a beautiful and healthy city” (Fajar, G.) that is “tobacco free.” (Fajar, G.) Gading would also be able to help me better understand why youth smoking has increased over the last four years in South Kalimantan.

Data from the most recent Global Youth Tobacco Survey in 2014 shows that the frequency of youth smokers aged 13 to 17 in Indonesia was 35% among boys and 3% among girls. (World Health Organisation. 2014.)

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Data from the most recent Global Youth Tobacco Survey shows that in Indonesia, it is mostly the men who smoke. (Image: World Health Organisation. 2014.)

Smoking rates may be higher for young boys because “it portrays the image of potency, wisdom and bravery”. (Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. & Öhman, P. 2017.) Similarly, Gading believes that smoking is more popular amongst men in Banjarmasin because “they think if you smoke it can make you more of a gentlemen and women will like you more but if a female is smoking they are seen as a bad girl.” (Fajar, G.) Gading further explained that even though his father smokes, he has never felt pressure from him to do so. However, when he hangs out with his friends who do smoke, he says he often feels “alone” (Fajar, G.) because he is “teased and laughed at.” (Fajar, G.) During our interview, he recalled one “painful” (Fajar, G.) memory of being physically hurt by his friends for choosing not to smoke. “In junior high school when I did not smoke, my friends who were smoking put out their used butt on my arm, leaving a scar”. (Fajar, G.) I believe that if organisations like Vital Strategies want to decrease youth smoking prevalence in South Kalimantan, they need to focus on breaking down the stigma that men should smoke.

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Gading’s scar from when he was purposely burnt by his friends with a used butt for choosing not to smoke. (Image: Nicholl, A. 2018.)

One aspect of Banjarmasin I noticed that is different to Sydney is the large amounts of signage promoting tobacco products and street stores selling them. We even saw one right outside a primary school. This moment made me wonder whether these tobacco advertisements have contributed to the rise in the number of youth smokers in South Kalimantan. Gading agreed with me during our interview as he thinks that the youth believe it is “cool to smoke because there are so many tobacco advertisements, information and sponsorships in Banjarmasin.” (Fajar, G.)

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Glamourised signage directly above a street market selling cigarettes opposite a primary school. The legal age to purchase cigarettes (18+) is only put in small writing in the top right hand corner. (Image: Nicholl, A. 2018.)

I also observed that the youth in Indonesia may be encouraged to smoke as the health concerns related to smoking and second-hand smoking are not emphasised. Although the packs have small health warnings on each side, I noticed it does not appear to be enough to put people off smoking. However, Gading thinks that the health warnings on cigarette packets are strong enough because they made him realise that smoking would make him “sick.” (Fajar, G.) He is of the view that maybe some people do not “care” (Fajar, G.) about the pictures because they think “if I’m not smoking I will die, and if I’m smoking I will still die too, so it is better to smoke to death.” (Fajar, G.)

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When analysing cigarette packaging in Banjarmasin, I noticed that the health risks related to smoking are not as obvious compared to the plain packaging I see in Australia (see previous post). (Image: Nicholl, A. 2018.)

As an advocate for many smoke free initiatives, hearing Gading’s experiences of working in Banjarmasin was fascinating as it has confirmed my perspective on what smoking is like for the youth of Banjarmasin. I have understood the necessity for organisations such as Vital Strategies and volunteers like Gading to emphasise not only the positive change a smoke free environment could bring, but to also promote the detrimental effects tobacco smoke has on their surrounding community members and environment, particularly for the youth.

 

Reference List:

Anshari, D. 2017, ‘Effectiveness of Pictorial Health Warning Labels for Indonesia’s Cigarette Packages’, Doctoral Dissertation, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1, viewed 23 January 2018, <https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/4059&gt;

Fajar, G. 2018, Interview, 19 January 2018

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. & Öhman, P. 2017, ‘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 23 January 2018, <https://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyl104&gt;

Nicholl, A. 2018, Cigarettes Advertised and Sold Outside of School, 08 January 2018

Nicholl, A. 2018, Gading’s Burn on Arm, 19 January 2018

Nicholl, A. 2018, Glamourised Cigarette Packaging, 08 January 2018

Schewe, E. 2012, ‘Why Do So Many Indonesian Men Smoke?’, Tobacco Control, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 306-312, viewed 23 January 2018, <https://daily.jstor.org/why-do-so-many-indonesian-men-smoke/&gt;

Vital Strategies. 2018, ‘Ampihi Mangaramput!’, PowerPoint presentation, viewed 08 January 2018

World Health Organisation. 2014, Global Youth Tobacco Survey, Indonesia, viewed 23 January 2018, <http://www.searo.who.int/tobacco/data/ino_gyts_fs_2014.pdf&gt;

Post C: Banjarmasin youth and smoking

imageFrom preparing to visit another country to part-take in a project focused on anti-smoking and researching statistics, I had a somewhat expectation of the wicked problem of tobacco use in Banjarmasin, Indonesia. However, it wasn’t until arriving in the beautiful city and being immersed in the interesting culture and environment, that I came soon to understand that my initial expectation of the tobacco problem was very much underestimated.

Though I was able to visually observe the use of tobacco in Banjarmasin and the extremity of tobacco advertising, it was only through discussing with a university student named Nadira, that I came to understand the smoking culture in Banjarmasin. Born in a small town near the capital city of the Banjar Regency in South Kalimantan; Martapura, Nadira spent the majority of her life witnessing tobacco use in her friends.

Being a part of the youth in Banjarmasin, Nadira has recently witnessed the quick increase of tobacco use amongst her friends. She explained that in Indonesia it is very typical for teenage boys around the age of 14 to 15 to start smoking, and to increase their tobacco use quite frequently till the point where at the age of 20 the majority of her male friends are having two packets of cigarettes a day.

When discussing these extremities, I observed quickly that Nadira automatically associated smokers with being male. Wanting to understand this association, I asked Nadira questions focused on the link between smoking and gender. She explained that as a vastly rough and exaggerated estimation that she believes that 99% of the smokers in Banjarmasin are male. She believes the smoking culture in Banjarmasin is centred on “smoking equalling being manly.” Nadira describes this characteristic of the smoking culture being a leading factor as to why the majority of the male youth start smoking cigarettes.

Nadira discussed, that the majority of the Banjarmasin youth grow up in homes with families of smokers. Young boys would witness potentially their brothers, fathers and grandfathers smoking. And consequently from this, a connection between smoking and manliness has formed and added a social pressure on young teenage boys to start smoking.

Through this discussion with Nadira I was able to understand that the root attraction to begin smoking amongst youth in Banjarmasin typically starts within the family/home environment.

Reference List:

Bevins, V. 2017, Indonesia, where smoking is widespread, just placed tough restrictions on e-cigarettes, The Washington Post, viewed 23 January 2018 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/11/27/in-heavy-smoking-indonesia-with-its-powerful-tobacco-lobby-e-cigarettes-face-high-hurdles/?utm_term=.6de570a40fa4

Hurt, R. Ebbert, J. Achadi, A. & Croghan, I. 2012, ‘Why do so many Indonesian men smoke?’, Jstor: Where News Meets Its Scholarly Match, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 306-312

Jong, H. 2016, Indonesia on track to world’s highest smoking rates, The Jakarta Post, viewed 23 January 2018 http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/06/01/indonesia-on-track-to-worlds-highest-smoking-rates.html

Ng, N. Weinehall, L. & Ohman, A. 2007, ‘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

Sulaiman, N. (2018) Primary Research- Interview about Tobacco use with youth in Banjarmasin