Background The decline in the global prevalence of cigarette smoking has prompted tobacco companies to expand their business by producing and marketing new nicotine-based products in various countries, including Indonesia. The study aims to assess e-cigarette promotional frequency and content on social media in Indonesia.
Methods Monitoring was conducted on Instagram in October 2021. A total of 45 Instagram influencer accounts were monitored to assess the frequency of posting and interactions from 4 to 20 October for InstaStories and from 4 to 31 October for Instagram Feeds. Content analysis was carried out on 310 posts collected from 10 randomly selected accounts from 1 to 31 October (one post per account per day) to evaluate the form, type and characteristics of the promotions.
Results There were a total of 2 897 327 followers across the 45 Instagram accounts. On average, the 45 accounts posted about 185 stories and 43 feed posts per day. Of the 310 feed posts analysed from 10 randomly selected accounts, 64% featured images of women; 50% highlighted or displayed the product; and 32% showed enjoyment of the product flavours.
Conclusions The tobacco industry has successfully taken advantage of the e-cigarette promotion regulatory void. The Indonesian government needs to ban the promotion of these products, including those on online platforms.
- Electronic nicotine delivery devices
- Advertising and Promotion
- Tobacco industry
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Contributors MB provides direction and supervision of the data collection process, XAW determines Instagram accounts that meet the criteria, and FAR performs data collection and initial reports of results. MB wrote the initial manuscript. All authors were involved in the revision process.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests MB is a doctoral student of social psychology and FAR is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Public Health. XAW currently serves as lecturer for communication studies at the University. MB and FAR currently assist the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) as project assistants for Indonesia and XAW is a 2021 SEATCA fellowship participant.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.