Introduction: Tobacco advertisement bans in Indonesia are rare and seldom evaluated. The recent introduction of an outdoor tobacco advertisement (OTA) ban in Banyuwangi District, East Java, Indonesia provided an opportunity to evaluate such policy.
Methods: Using a mixed-methods approach, we undertook an observational study of OTA in 15 locations where such advertising had been prohibited. We also interviewed a sample of 114 store-owners/storekeepers and 131 community members, and conducted indepth interviews with government officials and the Public Order Agency (POA), the designated enforcement agency.
Results: In phase 1 we found only one location was free of advertisements. We identified 667 advertisement points and 1283 advertisement materials in the study location; of these, 7% and 7.8% were within 25 m of schools and religious sites, respectively. Phase 2 showed that 68% of the respondents were unaware of the regulation, but many supported an OTA ban. Indepth interviews revealed that not all members of the POA were familiar with the regulation. POA members believed they will enforce the regulation better if higher level regulation for ban on tobacco advertisements, promotions and sponsorships was made and digital application is available to support surveillance.
Conclusion: Policy violations were evident 1 year after the launch of OTA ban in Banyuwangi. Tobacco advertisements are still visible, including near schools and religious sites, potentially stimulating adolescents to smoke. Regional regulation and setting specific violation reductions as a performance indicator for POA could improve compliance. App-based technology could assist violation surveillance and reporting, as could awareness-raising campaigns that encouraged community support to report violation through the apps.
Keywords: advertising and promotion; low/middle income country; public policy.
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