Getting president's attention to reject tobacco bill through social media in Indonesia
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Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), International Communications, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A624
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Indonesia has a high smoking prevalence at 36.1% and is the only WHO member state in Southeast Asia that has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. With limited tobacco control regulations, Indonesia is a playground for the tobacco industry. To further weaken regulations and to protect their sales and profits, the tobacco industry has been supporting parliament members and academics to promote a Tobacco Bill since 2014. Tobacco control advocates have been fighting tirelessly to block this bill.

Intervention or response:
Legislative process in Indonesia involves both Government and Parliament, it has to be approved by the President. Analysis of President's actions indicated that he responds to voices of citizens. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, along with other tobacco control partners in Indonesia designed and implemented a strategic social media campaign to reach the President before he was due to convene a cabinet meeting to decide on the fate of the tobacco bill. Key messages and social media contents were developed, opinion leaders were mobilized, and an online petition was organized and promoted. Platforms such as Vlog, Twitter, and Facebook were selected to convey messages at specific times to maximize reach and visibility in order to get President's attention.

Results and lessons learnt:
Our hashtag "Drop the Tobacco Bill" became a trending topic, picked up by the mainstream media who broadly covered the call for the President to reject the Tobacco Bill. After an extensive social media campaign, in March 2017, the President instructed his cabinet to reject tobacco bill. This endeavor showed that an effective social media campaign can influence policy decisions.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Indonesia has been regarded as the social media capital of the world with extremely high penetrations and some of the most active users. Tobacco control advocates should take advantage of this popular means of communications and networking to promote tobacco control policies.