Product variety and regulation avoidance in the sale of new tobacco products: findings from a point-of-sale survey in Indonesia

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2022 Dec 9;17(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s13011-022-00507-w.


Background: Since the imposition of the 2018 excise tax, new tobacco products (electronic nicotine delivery system, heated tobacco products, and nicotine pouches) have been considered legal, and their sale has grown rapidly in Indonesia. This study aims to assess the variety of new tobacco products available on the market and evaluate the point-of-sale (POS) environment.

Methods: Data collection was carried out by 12 trained surveyors between March 7 and 13, 2022, in three provinces that had the most e-cigarette users: Yogyakarta, East Kalimantan, and Jakarta. All the vape stores with a Google rating of 4.5 stars or higher and a minimum of 100 reviews were included. In addition to vape stores, the nearest retail stores were included. The data collected included information about available products, product displays, and whether the POS followed tobacco-control measures, such as health warnings and smoke-free regulations.

Results: A total of 27 vape stores and 35 retail stores were observed. The available liquid volumes ranged from 15 to 100 ml, with nicotine levels from 3 to 50 mg. No stores sold flavorless products, and all the products were sold without pictorial health warnings (PHWs). Most of the vape stores (92.6%) reported selling products that used cartoon images or public figures, and most (96.3%) allowed customers to use the products inside the store. Five vape stores and four retail stores reported that they did not require customers to undergo an identity-verification process to buy products. More than half (55.6%) of the vape stores and 46.6% of the retail stores reported that they were located less than 500 m from a school.

Conclusion: The available products were widely varied, and they were easy to access through online and offline stores. The new tobacco products had successfully avoided several tobacco-control measures, including smoke-free regulations and the appearance of PHWs on the products. The government needs to impose regulations sufficient to prevent youth from consuming new tobacco products.

Keywords: Indonesia; New tobacco products; Point of sale; Tobacco control; e-cigarettes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Commerce
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Nicotine
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco Products*


  • Nicotine