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19 Jun 2017

Young New Smoker Response to Pictorial Health Warnings on Cigarette Packages in Indonesia

Inri Denna, 2016
The University of Sydney


Pictorial health warnings on cigarette packaging are being used to communicate health issues associated with smoking. These messages are intended particularly for smokers as they will be expected to see and read the health information when they buy the cigarettes. In Indonesia, the pictorial health warning has been implemented since 2014. This is one of several efforts that the government has made to protect young people from taking up smoking.

This qualitative research study aims to find out young new smoker response to pictorial health warnings in Indonesia. Individual interviews have been conducted to explore participants’ smoking experiences and their opinions on fear images and messages that have been added to cigarette packaging.

The results of this study show that pictorial health warnings which contain fear messages do not influence young people to quit smoking. Therefore, supervision on point of sales and law enforcement are needed to protect young people under 18 years old from getting cigarettes. Adding quit line or help service numbers on cigarette packaging, together with pictorial health warnings, will help people who have the intention to stop smoking find more information about how to quit, over the telephone. This is important in order to save the young generation in Indonesia from the harm of tobacco use. Socialisation about the harms of tobacco use should also be conducted in school as early as possible as a preventative measure.

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