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Social Media vs Big Tobacco: Young Indonesian Activists are Playing to Win

Anti-industry, social media-driven campaigns, such as #TheyLieWeDie, have sparked youthful, grassroots support in countries like Indonesia where reaching Big Tobacco’s next customer base is literally a matter of life and death. Most Indonesian smokers are between the ages of 10 and 19 years-old. Tobacco use is typically established during adolescence, and teens who smoke regularly are much more likely to continue through to adulthood, even if they persistently try to quit. Students and other young volunteers have staged “die-ins” at malls, community billboard and mural painting, campus roadshows, and protests at industry-sponsored music festivals to build awareness around issues like passive smoking and the insidious marketing of tobacco products. There is no one way to launch an anti-tobacco campaign. Through its reach of nearly one million followers and energized young partners, Vital Strategies is helping to target a vulnerable age bracket in the ways that will resonate the most.